For me, last week was a pain. Lots of people to blame, lots of fear. Uncertainty. What a cruel word. That feeling of powerlessness.
What really is important? Immediately, wearing a mask when you step outside, yes. Watching the 1 pm briefing, no. Chatting with friends and family, yes. Joining a social media pile on, no.
It is what it is. Those stages of grief, denial, pain, anger, depression, I think I can see them now left behind me, last week. That is what feels special to me right now.
Helpful was this line from a book I am reading, Blockchain Chicken Farm. There is a brief discussion on creating a new meaning for work as working for others rather than oneself; working for people rather than for things. Maybe that is too “fluffy or lefty”?
When we look at the things that bring NZ people together, that give us pride, we often look to sports. Looking at super woman, Lisa Carrington, we are in awe at her athletic ability. But equally we understand her dedication and her sacrifices. And then we are dumbstruck by her feet on the ground self-assessment. Or the Black Caps. Rising to the challenge. Persistence and commitment in the face of scorn and the supposed gold standard from the opposition of sledging. How shallow the sledgers look in comparison.
We are in this Covid position. Calls for a way out, a plan, we all want certainty, but the reality is, the world is uncertain. We are blessed to live in a rich country with a small population and in comparison to many other countries, good governance. The libertarian ideas the have boosted economies the world over, lifting millions from poverty, we see do not work well in a pandemic. Or a worldwide financial crisis like the 2008 GFC. Governments, like insurance, are great for when things go suddenly wrong. But solving the climate change problem? Or the housing problem? Or supermarket duopoly? Governments are part of the problem.
If we apply libertarian ideas to these problems, then of course we first need to look at our own behaviours. All of us choosing consciously to change our own habits to consume less, drive less, ignore the shock-jocks, change the way that we view the world, seems quite an ask. If we look at familiar countries to emulate, well, the US or even Australia show us what not to do, and that selfish self-interest is to be avoided, and, well, ridiculed. But what to do? Hmm, we may have to work that out for ourselves. Are you up for that? And then, how can we encourage our government to do the “right thing”, at least as you see it?
We went big on anti-nuclear. We went big on the Springboks tour. Both the GFC and our covid response and recovery have shown that the economic orthodoxy isn’t as described on the label. We can see we have NZ as it is at least 51% right. We do need a debate, but about important stuff, not a sideshow about Aotearoa. Maybe we all need to start saying our vision or our country, and how we and our daily life and aspirations fit within that vision? Paraphrasing JFK, “ask not what NZ can do for you, ask what you can do for Aotearoa”. This is a special time. Don’t waste it with worries about stuff you can’t control. If you are down, ask for support. If you are up, give support to others.
Next wage subsidy
Speaking of support, we are expecting the next round of wage subsidies to open up on Friday. Once details are confirmed, we will send around the criteria and how to apply.
Stay safe out there!