Self righteousness feels good doesn’t it?
You know, when someone else is in the wrong and you can stand up there on your high horse and say, “Ha! Wouldn’t have happened if you were a bit more like me!”. Or when you’ve proved someone to be wrong and you get to soak up those glorious “I told you so, I am right and you are wrong” narcissistic feelings. Even when it may not particularly be their fault, but they are associated with the group responsible for the problem. Any opportunity to remind them of your group’s superiority must be taken. Every moment of smugness and self admiration pumps the veins like a hit of crack directly to the ego.
Or maybe you prefer the dissociation path, making sure everybody knows you have nothing to do with them, “Oh it’s not me! I’m not like that, it’s them!”. Doing all you can to ostracise them from yourself and leave them for dead, “Lucky it’s not me!”
The past 4 months have been pretty fucked. Even someone who rarely curses would happily agree with my choice of descriptive word with this one. There has been plenty of fear and stress and hurt. But nothing has made my heart hurt more over this entire time more than these past couple of weeks. Thinking about all those small businesses and vulnerable people in those 10 northwest Melbourne postcodes that are having to go back into Stage 3 lockdown today. It has me gutted.
I am upset for them, because I know if it was me and my town, I would not be in a great way. I am a pretty resilient bloke, but I reckon that would be something that would manage to break me for a few days, probably longer. It’d be snacks, beers and Netflix for me. Being a business owner that only just reopened last week, after 3 months in exile, after weeks of renovations and cleaning, creating new procedures and relentless efforts from many selfless people in order to get the business operational again, only to be shut back down. Heartbreak.
But worse, nothing has made me more upset, disappointed and ashamed in our country than the behaviour of many interstate Australian people and their attitude towards the residents of the state of Victoria. Worse again, the attitudes of non-nominated Victorians towards those residing in the nominated lockdown towns.
I can only imagine the range of emotions those affected residents are all feeling. Despair, and a beaten down desire to just throw in the towel. Anger towards the small handful of people responsible for the outbreak. Furious rage knowing that those few irresponsible people’s ‘mistakes’ weren’t quite innocent or accidental. Shame and embarrassment after being publicly singled out as a resident of an area responsible for so much chaos. Loneliness after being made to feel like a leper by the rest of the country. Hopelessness that pretty much all of it is out of their control.
The truth of it all is, is that 99.9% of residents in these areas were behaving no differently to the residents of Cranbourne, Mornington, Brighton, Sydney, Brisbane or Adelaide. They followed the rules just like the rest of us, they broke a few rules from time to time just like the rest of us too. For any self righteous person to announce that their state is superior and that their people are better, or for any ship jumping Victorian to do similar, is purely a way of pointing out the flaws of others in order to hide their own. It is insecurity in themselves to cause them to compete and compare. How good does it feel? To give yourself a little boost while others suffer, ya bloody sociopath.
Does everybody realise that towns and states and borders aren’t real? When you cross over a state border is the colour scheme different? Are banana’s red? Are people not people? We invented these things, but the universe couldn’t give a flying fuck about them.
Now isn’t the time for high horses and treating fellow Australian’s as though they have primary school cooties. Yes a few of them have COVID, quite a few more than your town at the current minute. A tiny handful have it out of irresponsibility and stupidity, but most have contracted it innocently. Who says it couldn’t have been you? Why are you so special? All it could have taken was for one of those quarantine hotel security guards to mingle around your neck of the woods and bam! You’d be the cootie carrier instead. You’d be the leper. You’d be the one singled out as a person NO ONE should go near.
Be grateful that it isn’t you. But maybe let’s go one further step forward. Let’s be the change this country needs right now.
There is no point ranting and raving and pointing the finger at the idiots responsible for this outbreak. It’s done now. There is also no point ranting and raving at those self indulging jerk offs that are singling out and beating down on vulnerable, innocent, shattered northwest Melbournians. Nothing gets achieved, energy gets wasted.
Currently, this finger pointing, cootie culture behaviour is socially acceptable. No one is calling out people for treating others like lepers, so why would it change?
We need to begin the change. Loss of connection is a huge cause of depression. Loss of meaningful social connection, loss of connection to our work, disconnect from status, disconnect from a secure and hopeful future, disconnect from nature. We are all experiencing a loss of these factors in 2020, but those in the selected postcodes are feeling it far worse than us right now.
Those living in northwest Melbourne need to feel secure, connected, equal and important. We all have the power and influence to support that. The self righteous are currently doing the opposite. We all need to influence our communities to behave with empathy and care. Don’t tell them, show them. Check in on those locked down. Do an actual worthwhile post on your socials shouting out to those people. Let them know they are seen. Make this behaviour socially acceptable and the normal behaviour of Victorians and Australian’s. Make it our culture. By doing so we will make the behaviour of the self righteous strange and odd and unfamiliar. The belittlers using their pedestal to shine the light away from their flaws will have their flaws shone on. Those exposed will either step up or shut up.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi
“Be the change you wish to see in Australian’s, because currently we’re a bunch of selfish, finger pointing, individualistic arseholes.” – Me