WHAT’S ON IN COUNCIL THIS WEEK
NO meetings this week, at least none that involve me. I am free as a bird, so if you want to bend my ear about something it is an ideal opportunity. Um, well, not quite ideal, I suppose, because my normally sunny disposition is somewhat murky at the moment, since I have recently decided it is time I became more humble.
No mickey-taking, please. Becoming more humble — for the likes of me — is akin to giving up smoking, going cold turkey off heroin or cutting out chocolate; a seriously difficult proposition. So if you are talking to me you may find me more humble than usual but probably bad-tempered.
In my defence, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person in town who has little patience with much of what goes on these days. Thousands of years of development of humankind, the rise of great civilisations culminating in the Western industrial and technological revolution that is our legacy, the ongoing desire of the human race to reach higher, to aspire to greater things. The great minds who have helped shape us — Einstein, Mozart, Shakespeare, Socrates, Margaret Thatcher. The science that has enabled the Earth to feed billions, to understand our universe, to harness our bountiful natural resources, to fly to the moon.
These things fill me with pride. Here we are at the very pinnacle (so far) of human achievement. And so I look around me and marvel at humankind’s progress.
Then I turn on the television to see what is happening in New Zealand today. Macsyna King. Chris Kahui. John Campbell. A procession of weaselly self-serving lawyers who have made it impossible to convict anyone of anything. A populace so gullible that an internet pirate can parade himself as a freedom-fighter and find a media credulous enough to back him. Politicians so stupid they don’t understand that fighting a social ill by raising its price only affects the poor, not the rich. People who wear their pyjamas to town. A country that in 60 short years has transformed itself from a place where people grew up expecting to work and not minding supporting the few who were incapable, into a land where sitting on your backside collecting benefits is the norm, apparently a sacred right.
Is this the culmination of thousands of years of hauling ourselves up from the stone age? Is this the brave new world that our forefathers strove to achieve for us?
It is true that I have been guilty in the past of being a little snakey about the foibles of some in our society, and that is certainly something that could be described as arrogance. But I have turned over a new leaf. I have forsworn arrogance and feelings of superiority. I have embraced humility, accepting that I am not entirely perfect myself. Close, perhaps, but not entirely.
But crikey it’s hard.