Like you, I’m a huge fan of Australia Day. When better to celebrate our nation’s restrained approach to “patriotism” and “nationalism”? Of all the nations on Earth, we’re one of the absolute best at recognising how stupid and insular it is to blandly declare that your nation is one of the absolute best on Earth.
Good on this country for breeding a healthy cynicism of the powerful, and of those who seek to shamelessly manipulate historical symbols to make themselves seem “one of us” – or for simple commercial gain. I’m proud that we look with contempt at those idiots abusing the national flag to try to intimidate slightly more recent immigrants, and that we don’t succumb to the temptation on a day like Australia Day to use it to gloss over issues on which our society needs to work. No, we use it as an opportunity to remember the kind of egalitarian, fair country we want to be, and resolve to resist those interests that might try to pull it in another direction. To make sure that the benefits we’ve enjoyed are available for all.
Most of us have it pretty good here, and it’s a fine day to reflect on the blessings we’ve inherited, and resolve to share them more generously with others who’ve not been so fortunate – both here, and overseas. Because isn’t that the kind of people we aspire to be?
Happy Australia Day.