Australia has many unique features including being home to the oldest living cultures on earth, the indigenous Australians inhabiting the land for over 60,000 years. This together with only close to 100 years or so of recorded national history makes us a complex country. We are a nation of immigrants from all over the globe, especially so in the last 50 years, and at the same time we are only now beginning to fully realise our indigenous history, and even that only in pockets of understanding across the country.
In Australia, all of us are said to be 'free.' We can practice whichever religion we want, explore any sexual orientation we wish to, provided it is carried out between consenting adults, and we do not live in fear of an authoritarian or oppressive government.
But how 'free' are we?
Spirituality and religion are personal things. Prejudice and intolerance are not born from these personal quests for meaning and deeper understanding. Instead, they are byproducts of the political and social structures which have been grafted to religion over centuries and millennia of human history. If we can recognise this,
Life has a habit of moving fast. No matter how old you are, no matter what you have experienced or accomplished, there will have been a time at which you cast your mind back to recollect a moment from the past, and were shocked by just how long ago that moment was even though it seemed like yesterday.
Let's consider communication and connection in the current landscape, taking into account both the modern experience of online communication and the more traditional one of face to face physical contact. Both are valid and relevant in today's world, and both need to be carefully considered if we are to promote a genuine understanding of ourselves and our positions in society.