I became a grandfather last week. The much-anticipated first grandchild arrived at 11.42pm. That's worse than it sounds because she was born in Perth and I live in Sydney — two hours ahead. I groggily answered the phone but my eldest daughter's excited voice woke me up quickly and the memory of the birth of my younger daughter just 11 years ago came rushing back.
"I cannot stop looking at her, she's beautiful", my eldest daughter said, provoking tears on my end. In a couple of minutes she'd sent a picture of her bub over the mobile phone. It has already circled the world through my diasporaised extended family and friends by now.
The next day, the eve of the November 24 elections, I found it hard to concentrate at work until someone sent me a clipping from a blog headlined: "Vote for your grandchildren. Vote for change." "So why is a former National voter (me, believe it or not) considering voting for the Socialist Alliance? Or the Greens?", wrote a blogger named Tikiwanderer.
"With the reading and work I put in on climate change and the environment this year, one thing was repeatedly clear. We have to change the way we do things. And not a token effort. It has to be sustainable change, not just for New Years. We can make a lot of those changes on a personal level, and we should — twenty percent of the changes we need can come from that alone. Unfortunately, to really deal with the problem we will also have to change the way our society works. Business as usual won't do it, no matter what trimmings we put on the outside ...
"Change is scary sometimes. But if we continue on as we are, trying to make every change as gentle as possible, we simply won't change fast enough. And I'm thinking in centuries. By the end of this century, we'll still have as much of a problem to deal with as we do now — but the intervening time will have made it harder for our grandchildren who have to face it. Instead, we need to embrace the fact that we are changing, that we will change. Seek it out. Invest in change. Claim the change. Make it ours. And make it now, for our children's children." (Source: <http://tikiwanderer.livejournal.com/227170.html>)
Well said Tikiwanderer! The voting will be over by the time you read this, but the campaign for the radical changes we need to safeguard the planet for our grandchildren continues apace.
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