Kindness as a must
AS A social researcher and best-selling author of 19 books, Hugh Mackay has published quarterly reports on all aspects of Australian life.
In his earlier book, Australia Reimagined, Hugh Mackay suggested that there seemed to be a loss of trust in government in recent times. Sadly, this has continued to be the case, with disappointment in our political leadership, a loss of faith in once-respected institutions like the church, poor education standards, fracturing of families, the erosion of community, and marginalising of the disadvantaged, including refugees.
Hugh Mackay believes that as individuals, and collectively, we can make a real difference.
He makes a convincing argument for his cause, but is Mackay a blind optimist or a hopeful realist?
He argues for a more compassionate and less anxious society and asks whether we could become renowned as a loving country rather than simply a “lucky” one.
Among many topics he examines a year ravaged by bushfires and a worldwide pandemic, taking a toll on both emotional health and the economy.
During a year of upheaval, has it made us more compassionate and brought us closer together?
Mackay says that people keeping a respectful distance from each other, wearing masks and abiding by other restrictions during this difficult time, has paradoxically, shown our love and concern for each other.
In this swiftly-changing world of IT to the looming threat of cataclysmic climate change effects, and now the pandemic, Mackay says a “Covid generation” is emerging that may be more resilient, with a capacity to endure and prevail through adversity.
At the end of his book Hugh Mackay reminds us that significant changes can be brought about in the wake of a disruptive and destabilising crisis as people search for a “new normal”.
He contends that this is our chance to find more creative ways of building the kind of society we would all be proud to live in, setting a personal example of kindness and thus setting seed for the next generation.
In thus doing, could we stamp out racism, sexism and ageism, and eradicate poverty and homelessness?
Mackay makes the case for a more utopian society where kindness is paramount.
His book inspires us to do our bit. It is to be savoured for its endearing wit and abundant wisdom.