Monday, December 8, 2008

Complacency

Although the nature and extent of his planetary media achievements do not necessarily fill me with joy, I listened humbly, with the utmost interest, to the advice meted out by our most successful compatriot (from a financial viewpoint), Rupert Murdoch:

"At this time in our history, the gravest threat to Australia's freedom and prosperity does not come from war or terrorism, it comes from the comfort that can make us content. Today, instant flows of information, the advance of trade and the rise of economies that reward risk and enterprise, are all combining to create a world where the opportunities ahead would be greater than anything we've seen in human history. [...] With so much talent, with so many advantages and with so much potential, I can think of no greater sadness for this century than an Australia that was willing to settle for just getting by. [...] I am reasonably sure that the consequences will probably not be dire. In my mind, that's the problem."

Half a century ago, when I spent a couple of years at Sydney University, I recall that the big keyword that summarized all the apparent evils awaiting students of my generation was apathy, meaning the refusal to get involved in the major challenges of our human existence. So, if we are to believe Murdoch, nothing much seems to have changed greatly over the years. But who knows? Maybe it's a fine quality these days to be accustomed to lounging around lazily, endowed with the basic necessities for survival, while waiting for life to roll on. On the surface, it sounds zen.

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