As human beings, we are tuned into what is right and wrong. The philosophy of ethics – a forum in which names like Immanuel Kant, Jurgen Habermas, and Jeremy Bentham, can wrestle for ownership of our minds.
It's difficult to argue with the fact that we are in a productivity-obsessed working culture. Every day, we are bombarded with proofs and demonstrations of great things our peers have achieved, and we are deluged by productivity apps and other quick fixes aimed at making us into better, more valuable co-workers, friends, family members, even just people.
The "psychological climate" in the workplace is such a big part of life for millions of people across Australia, and its positive or negative implications can be huge.
Interview situations require us to spin our skills and our attributes to make ourselves more appealing. Negotiations often hinge upon how well we can put our views forward and be unwavering all the while presenting a charming exterior to partners and opponents alike. In fact, most tasks in the workplace are based upon us acting a certain way -- being a certain type of thing -- or at least that seems to be the consensus view.
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.
Division is something of a fact of life for democracy. In a political system like this one, compromise is the order of the day. We go to the polls, we cast our votes, and we throw our support behind the candidate or party we most agree with. In some cases, we get what we want. In other cases, we do not, and the perpetual cycle of debate and conversation continues.
If you are a parent in modern day Australia, then this is most likely what you are. We are talking about our own status as digital immigrants in a land of digital natives.
From a young age, we learn that we should "do unto others" as we would have others "do unto" us. The social me is a more sophisticated version of this and is a recognition of the different connections and intrinsic links that make up a society like the one we engage with every day.
Australia is a democracy. It may not be a perfect democracy -- what is perfection, after all? -- but it is a democracy nonetheless. This may mean different things to different people, but, at its heart, democracy means conversing, listening, understanding, and reaching a consensus on the best course of action for society -- a consensus that represents the broader needs of all of our citizens.
As Friday afternoon wore on, and thoughts turned towards the weekend, as they naturally do at this time, news began to break of sickening events taking place across the Tasman Sea. Sketchy reports emerged, filled with the kind of words that can only turn stomachs – words like “shots fired”, words like “panic”, “violence”, “desperation”.