Letter to the Editor in The Age Newspaper on 7th August 2018
Of all the sayings and epithets that I used to hear as a kid growing up in Australia, the one I most admired was ‘to err on the side of generosity’. Richie Norton’s great advice seems to have fallen on deaf ears when we hear of so many people not qualifying for the NDIS. We keep hearing about people with crippling disabilities who seem to miss out on the assistance they so desperately need that would make such a difference to them and their carers.
As a nation, we seem to have become hardhearted in our government’s treatment of asylum seekers, refugees, homeless folks, unemployed young people and even those women who are victims of domestic violence. Too often these people are collectively made to feel like they are ‘rorting the system’, or ‘it’s their own fault’. We can always find excuses for turning a blind eye to those in need or for not helping those who are down on their luck. Misfortune can happen to anyone.
Richie Norton’s advice holds a deeper truth. Generosity is regarded as one of the key ingredients to enhanced mental health.
Adam Lindsay Gordon’s epithet comes to mind:
“Life is mostly froth and bubble. Two things stand like stone. Kindness in another’s trouble. Courage in your own.”
We can all try a little more kindness. We just might benefit from it too.