I was going to bed last night when I saw tweets citing a shock jock’s comments about the recent death of the father of my country’s Prime Minister. From all accounts our PM and her father were close and she devastated when he passed away a few weeks ago.
This time last year my own family was getting news that my father would never leave hospital; that cancer had spread throughout his body and we were dealing with the recommendation that we take him off the medication he’d been on since his heart transplant nearly 11 years before.
It’s still raw. His passing. I think of him often.
I often worry that I’m not ‘enough’; that I should be ‘more’. I’ve written about this in my diet blog, explaining that it’s me I’m failing. Not those around me. I believe my parents were/are proud of the person I’ve become. I’m sure they wish(ed) I’d found love, had a family and been more contented with my life, but they aren’t disappointed in my career choices or the person I am. I’m pretty sure of that.
Nevertheless, it’s a most primal of fears… that of disappointing one’s parents; and one’s desire to make them proud.
The conservative radio commentator (Alan Jones) was apparently at an event for a young conservative party when, during his speech he called our Prime Minister a liar before following up with the comment that her ‘old man recently died a few weeks ago of shame.’
Understandably there has been MUCH public outcry since the transcript of his speech came to light. And today the man in question issued an apology, of sorts.
The radio personality is one of several to f*ck-up big time in recent years. There seems to be a plethora of small (minded) men trying to demonstrate their masculinity by vomiting vitriol while posturing and preening. Jones’ defence is that he heard the comment elsewhere and repeated it. As you do.
Now, I’m fairly sure that our PM has every right to be quite proud of her achievements and I’m sure her father was mightily proud of his daughter. However… that doesn’t mean there aren’t things in her life that she regrets or wishes she’d done differently. And once that seed is planted, it’s hard to uproot.
But don’t get me wrong, I’m sure we all have bitchy and poisonous thoughts. I certainly do. I’ve most certainly wished bad things upon people who’ve pissed me off or done wrong by me. But… feeling the need to share the anger, hurting others, is where we part ways.
When I was 14 years old I travelled with fellow pupils to another school for some social sports. I was to captain one of the netball teams, the members of which were randomly drawn out of a hat. I was standing with a group of my friends when I saw my team. “Oh god,” 14 year old me said, “I’ve got XX on my team!”
I was bewildered by the silence around me until one of my friends stepped back, allowing me to see that XX in question was amongst the group.
“Oh, I don’t really want to play,” she said, “I’ll sit out.”
I was devastated. I was actually a ‘good’ kid back in those days. I was sweet. I was no bully. (I was however judgemental about people’s sporting abilities!) I still remember trying to catch her up as we were riding home after the match to try to atone for what I’d said.
Thirty years later I still remember the occasion and the important lesson I learned about thinking before I speak. Something Alan Jones is obviously yet to learn.