By Peter Kelly and Mark Teale on 15 January 2020
Welcome to a brand new year, but is it a brand new decade?
Some will argue that the old decade ended on 31 December 2019 whereas others will suggest it won’t end until 31 December 2020. Personally, I am going with the latter.
But does it matter? Probably not really in the grander scheme of things.
What does your new year hold for you?
Do you make new year’s resolutions, only to see them fall by the wayside before January has passed?
Over the holiday period I was bingeing out on YouTube videos, which has become a bit of a weakness of mine.
I was watching Chris Hogan. I love the way he inspires his viewers to take financial responsibility for their lives. Chris was saying that rather than setting new year’s resolutions, we should set new year’s “promises”.
Somehow the concept of a promise implies a higher degree of personal commitment and responsibility. What do you think?
Would you be more likely to stick by a promise?
Australia’s spirit of mateship
Perhaps the most poignant news stories at the moment are the bushfires. This has to have been our worst bushfire season on record and I am sure that, like me, your heart goes out to those who have been touched by the fires.
One thing that has struck me is the generosity of Australians. Those that have not only contributed significant sums of money, but also food, water, clothing, transport, and the thousands that have volunteered to help, be it fire-fighting, preparing meals at local evacuation centres, providing accommodation, sorting and distributing donated food and clothing, or helping out at the many wildlife hospitals and refuges around the country. This is the Australian spirit – helping out mates in need.
I have to admit that seeing injured wildlife is something I find very difficult to cope with.
We live in a country of contrasts. We have all manner of natural disasters befall us. It may be the drought, bush fires, or cyclones and floods. Remember, it was just a year ago that we have the devastating floods in Townsville.
One of the things I have noticed in a number of news items is the number of people looking to assign blame for the events they have experienced, with blaming the government for failing to act on climate change as a significant one. Whether climate change is real or imagined, and whether it is man-made or simply part of the natural climate cycle that has evolved over millions of years, it is a topic we all have our own opinions on. I am not going to go there in this article.
However, from a governmental perspective, I believe that disaster management and action should be unified. This is not a time for political point-scoring, between political parties, ideological groups, or between different levels of government.
Do you have a plan?
Having said that, there are a few simple steps we can put in place in the event we are personally caught up in a natural disaster.
One of the news reports related to people trying to leave a fire ravaged town but were having difficulty in buying fuel and food because the ATMs and EFTPOS machines weren’t working. People no longer carry cash. Perhaps keeping a couple of hundred dollars of old-fashioned cash – just for emergencies - could be a good idea!
And, having a supply of non-perishable food, toiletries, drinking water, spare medications and a basic first aid kit and survival gear (torch, spare batteries, a knife, water purification tablets, and battery powered radio) might just be enough to carry us through a few days of discomfort if we are caught in a natural disaster and the “lights go out”.
To finish off our first blog for 2020, Mark and I wish all readers a very happy, healthy and successful year ahead. We look forward to bringing you our weekly missives throughout the year. Bring it on!