Australia is a bit of an introverted culture. We talk about what is important to us with our friends, making grand public statements about it doesn’t sit easily with us.

I’m in favour of this in some ways – those grand public statements are often so hollow. We are healthily sceptical of politicians telling us how what they want is for our own good. Australians are not easily conned by rhetoric and this is a very good thing.

The down side is that our public life is diminished. We are left with the deadening language of the eco-rat (economic rationalist) agenda. Surely we care more for our friends, family and children more than economics. Surveys have repeatedly demonstrated that we would rather have more services than small tax cuts. And yet the discussion about our motives for this (our caring for others, the future of our country and planet) are rarely discussed. And when they are discussed it seems they have to be in the language of economics to be taken seriously (now that Nick Stern has demonstrated that it is more costly to ignore global warming than to deal with it – now it’s OK to consider saving the planet).

So, I’d like us to talk more about what matters to us. So I thought I would start by writing a paragraph about what is important to me and posting it on this blog. I invite you, the reader, to do the same. I think the results will be great to see.

Here’s my beginning.

My most precious moments are talking with others – curiously when we are close to what is most important to us, what is most unique about us – is when I feel closest to the other person.

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