15.7 C
Byron Shire
May 10, 2021

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Virtue reality

Latest News

How full is that glass?

Cr Alan Hunter, Byron Shire Council Council Staff recommend opposing the proposed changes in the Exempt Development provisions to be considered...

Other News

Upside down river

Tim Harrington, Lennox Head Letter contributor Richard White (letters 21/4/21) quite correctly identifies the Richmond River as an ‘upside down river’...

More money for Byron Shire roads and bridges

The NSW government has announced almost $5 million dollars in funding for Byron Shire infrastructure.

On-farm restaurant’s sustainable vision

Frida’s Field is an on-farm restaurant based in Nashua, just ten minutes from Bangalow. Hosting three long lunches per...

Assange’s father to beg Biden for son’s freedom

John Shipton, father of detained WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, says he’ll return to the United States to ask President Joe Biden to drop legal action against his son.

Mayor’s parting gift 

Michele Grant, Ocean Shores The Mayor’s parting gift to the Bruns/Bayside Community was ushering through approval for the controversial Corso...

Board defends its management of Mullum Rural Co-op

The issue of potential fraud and financial mismanagement was a key part of the response from Mullumbimby Rural Co-op...

Image S Sorrensen

Near my place. Tuesday, 6.30pm

She serves field mushrooms topped with capsicum and – well, I’m not sure; it was something greenish, probably from the garden out the back – the lot topped with melted cheese. I take one, put it on my plate. It smells fungi delicious. Can’t wait to eat it. But I hear a car approaching, straining as it pushes up the hill.

‘Is that him?’ I ask.

‘Yes,’ she answers, moving quickly to the door. I walk to the door too, leaving the mushroom to steam alone.

It’s a cool night here under the cliffs at the end of the world. Her partner is arriving from work. He helps people less fortunate than himself. And today is his birthday.

I’m at his house (and hers) with another mate of his, and with a friend of mine who is visiting from down south. My friend’s been staying at my place, just up the road under the same cliffs. She’s a violin player, fresh from the Blues and Roots Festival in Nimbin, and has never met the birthday boy.

I like this birthday man, now motoring up his driveway. I like him a lot. He has what the ancient Greeks, the originators of our Western philosophy, called virtue. In plain English, he’s a good man. Back in the day, virtue was the measure of a person. It was more important than wealth or power. Virtue encapsulated what it was to be human, honouring kindness and honesty, rewarding integrity and principle, investing in a shared common good.

So we are here – an impromptu celebration of this bloke’s birthday, a happy acknowledgment of his virtue.

Birthday Boy pulls his van up beside the house, gravel crackling. She, excited, looking out from the doorway, counts down with her fingers in the air behind her back as he pulls on the handbrake (five, four…), opens his car door (three, two…) and steps onto the ground (one!)

Violin Player takes her cue and plays Happy Birthday, Cajun style, on her fiddle. We sing along as Birthday Boy walks up the steps and onto the verandah where we four are congregated. Surprise! He smiles and walks into open arms.

Virtue. We recognise and extol it in our everyday lives. We want our children to have it. We try to teach them how to be good people, virtuous; to be generous and honest. But it’s an uphill battle because virtue is disappearing from our society’s mores, replaced by self-obsession and a callous disregard for others. Our leaders are terrible role models for the children. For the majority of people in government, principles are fashion accessories to be used and discarded according to the circumstances. Corporate interests override societal ones. Avarice trumps altruism. In our government, virtue has vanished as completely as the inspirational speech.

I hug Birthday Boy. We sit down to whiskey and mushrooms. Outside, the cool breeze shakes the leaves – an ethereal tambourine accompaniment to the violin whose Happy Birthday has morphed into an Irish jig.

The other day Prime Minister Morrison said he admired Donald Trump; said both he and Donald ‘get it’. Oh dear. That seals it.

Morrison is ostensibly a Christian, but in saying these words he has revealed his pact with the devil. He praises a sexual predator; a chronic liar. He and the object of his power fantasy are both men of no virtue. They are not worthy to sit at this table, drink this birthday whiskey, and eat these delicious mushrooms. They would look mean and small in the presence of a real man, a kind and honest man, a man who honours women, helps others and tells the truth.

Virtue has been abandoned by the elite, but it still hangs out here under the cliffs at the end of the world.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Yes SS: true to the self & others. It’s tough going when so many
    manipulate or imagine honesty’s outlived its use-by date. Still,
    one lives in hope – & virtue goes a long way. Many thanks for
    the reminder.

  2. Thank you once again for your clear sight and the ability and honesty to tell it like it is. Keep us grounded in the real world and real ethics and morality. You are not alone it is just that the Trumps of this world shout louder because they need to convince themselves that they really aren’t the grubs that their actions indicate.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Creative carbon capture

Desmond Bellamy – Special Projects Coordinator, PETA Australia, Byron Bay Last week, the Australian government pledged half a billion dollars for ‘clean’ energy projects, including 264 million...

Assange’s father to beg Biden for son’s freedom

John Shipton, father of detained WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, says he’ll return to the United States to ask President Joe Biden to drop legal action against his son.

Linnaeus Estate DA raises residents concerns

Community concern over the current development application (DA: 10.2021.170.1) for Linnaeus Estate in Broken Head has led to detailed analysis of the DA.

Echo turns 35 and You are invited!

This year The Echo turns 35, and to celebrate this momentous anniversary they are putting on The Echo Community Awards – and everyone is invited!