Dear Inner Circle,

In our world right now, where the advocates of ‘herd immunity’ dominate, I perceive nothing other than a Darwinism that is resigned to sacrifice the most vulnerable for the sake of the economy. Around the world it is clear now that the greatest impact of this virus is among the poor. The reality is that a focus on ‘survival of the fittest’, diminishes all of us. It’s not fashionable to praise Australia’s politicians, but I’m truly grateful for our leadership in this country that has acted swiftly to give everyone the best chance of survival. It is heartening to see an attitude that knows that the health of all, depends on the health of the least.

Sunday was Mother’s Day, a day that is revered and celebrated by most, but also a day that is fraught with pain and emotion for many of our people. There is perhaps a no more formative relationship in our lives, either for better or worse. Mums come in all shapes and sizes, and I would like to especially pay respect to all the step-mums, substitute mums, aunties and foster mums that are out there loving kids they may not have given birth to, but loving them all the same, with their whole being.

We also take a moment to remember those mums who have lost children, could never have them or no longer have them in their care; loss through death or through tragic circumstances leaves the same ache and the same path of grief to be endured. This is a pain that is often hidden. There are many mums, who due to current restrictions were not able to embrace their kids on Sunday, and we ache with you. I’m grateful for my mum who I had to settle for a phone call with, to wish her the best and thank her for constantly commenting on my hairstyles, weight fluctuations, and for teaching me how to unashamedly be myself in a world that tries to force you into a narrow mould. My mum is a force of nature, an encourager, a critic, and a bit of a rockstar all at the same time. I have no doubt that the strength of my character and compassion come from her, and I love her dearly. So thanks Mum, and to all those who have mothered me.

I was just talking with a mate who has spent nearly 20 years of his life behind bars, many of them in solitary confinement. As he’s heard people whinge about lockdown, he’s desperate to tell us that we’re all a pack of “wimps”. I guess when I think of being ‘locked down’ in my comfortable home with my computer, TV, fridge, pantry, phone, comfortable bed, warm clothes, and family, I see his point. The disconnection and social isolation that we have all had a glimpse of during this time, is all but a ‘regular day in the life’ of many people in our community who struggle on a daily basis.

Of all people, this might be the right bloke to be our teacher and remind us that there is always so much to be thankful for – even when we think that things have been taken away.

I’m thankful that we are stronger together, as part of this Inner Circle.

Jon

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