Daniel Brown, Byron Bay
There comes a point where attachment to ideals is so strong that it undermines the ideal without you realising.
For instance, personal sovereignty; we’re so strong-headed in Byron that many of us walk around with our dogs off-leash and our chins held high, whilst failing to notice the dogs’ actions in our wake. Maybe it’s making some elderly people feel uncomfortable as it sits in the doorway of a shop they’re trying to access, maybe it’s ‘going at’ another dog, or it goes into shops where it shouldn’t be, causing unnecessary work for someone whose job it isn’t to look after your dog. Then, when politely asked by someone (who’d seen all of the above whilst your chin was held high) to leash the dog, it’s sadly your aggression that results, much like a 1980s English soccer hooligan with a baseball bat ready to crack heads open over the belief that his team is all that matters.
This analogy applies to masks and sign-ins as well, you’re prepared to go to war with others of more-or-less the same calibre as you when you don’t understand or don’t want to understand the whole picture, because the lens you have on suggests the ‘ultimate answer’ are your ‘sovereign rights’.
I’m a security guard who worked the farmers’ market on 19 August, and let me tell you, the opposition and abuse I faced from some, even with their children by their side, was utterly atrocious. Certainly no example at all for our future generations.
It’s really not hard to appease your fellow man, and their concerns, by recycling a bit of C02 for 10–30 minutes. I was made out to be some kind of Nazi at this event for asking people to step aside from high traffic areas whilst their mask was off. Little do they know, I’m actually not a Nazi, but rather a permaculturalist who moved to the area for a peaceful, conscious, sustainable culture change.
I act in accordance with those values whilst conducting my work in security, yet I’ve had elders acting-out like children at me under the assumption I’m something I’m not, in front of their children, with horrid language and one-sided accusations. You must realise there is always more than one side to the elephant in the room, and no ‘one side’ can ever get a totalistic perspective, for that you need humility and patience, but foremost is compassion.
The spiritual growth this area is reputed for stops when you’re stagnant in your opinions or your knowledge, not to mention when you’re adversely affecting those around you, so choose your battles and channel that anti-establishment feeling into something more constructive… like educating the public on herbs that can heal COVID infection, like Mugwort. Organise guerilla campaigns to plant it in common areas rather than the relatively pointless ornamentals dominating our landscape.
Taking your anger and assumptions out on innocent people doing it tough like everyone else is inexcusable behaviour ESPECIALLY in front of your children. Contrarily, whilst I live in Byron and moved here for the beforementioned progressive and peaceful culture, I’ve been contracted to do lots of COVID sign-in work in Lismore, and let me tell you, people have been incredibly supportive and compliant. It’s really blown my mind how much respect I’ve received there compared to my own hometown where I’ve been treated like an enemy and found very little love, for years.