What precarity taught me

Raised in a middle-class liberal Australian home, given every opportunity for education, including 6 years at university at the time when university was essentially fee free, I had no idea about the simple privilege of access I had because of my birth lottery.

I made some massive assumptions about my life. I was whip smart, sassy, healthy.

In my thirties, I became a single mother. Self-employed. I spent many years on an economic knife edge. 

During this time I had to reconcile old mythologies I had believed as true.

Such as;

*If you work hard you will achieve anything. 

*Intelligence is the ticket to success. 

*Money is agnostic.

*As a women I have the same access and privilege as any man.

I went to a very dark place as all of these beliefs and many others were shattered into a million soul breaking pieces. 

My resurrection started with compassion. First and foremost for myself. I had to embrace and accept that the ethics, morals and values that I had been brought up with, my fierce fight for integrity at every turn, was something I was not willing to compromise no matter what – and as such that made me a rarity in the business-as-usual world.

I also became infinitely more compassionate for most of life. For those wholehearted people in every region of the world who work hard, many juggling multiple jobs 7 days a week, just to survive.

Many of these people so smart, so able, yet never given access to education, opportunity, dignity. Their potential wasted in the morass of greed and neglect.

That money, when static and not flowing is agnostic, yet becomes morally bankrupt as it accumulates in the hands of those who hold its power. Its very design feature in our current economy is to create intractable poverty as a side effect so the very few can become obscenely powerful, while the middle class stays comfortable enough to not complain too much, as the poor become poorer.

I am still amazed that our synergistic capacity as humans thinks this model is even remotely acceptable!

And women, well I learned that later in life in my first step into the public space. Women with a voice, with power of any kind, are still burned at the metaphorical stake. Too shrill. Too bossy. Too bitchy.

Our love affair with the monomyth story, the hero’s journey, eliminates the heroines journey…so different to our brothers…not the quest, the fight, the battle over good and evil. 

Rather a steady constancy to nurture, love, protect through love, kindness, compassion; to braid nature’s gifts into medicine. The ability to gestate, hold steady through a pregnancy, be that of a child or any creation. To care for home, our home planet. To know the future of our child/creation needs consideration.

Far from perfect, we women are not a threat to the world of men who aspire to a better future for all. Only together can we make a world that works for everyone.

Through precarity I became a better person. There is nothing like nothing and no hope to bring us to the ground, to humility.

Hard, so hard to bear. Yet such a worthy journey.

Photo taken August 6th 2021

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