As someone who is fiercely passionate about my country, I reluctantly concede that if there is one thing that is a constant source of embarrassment and vexation to me it is ‘The Tall Poppy Syndrome’. It is alive and well here, whether it be captains of industry, sportspeople, entertainers or philanthropists. etc. (Politicians, in my opinion should be under scrutiny, as they are elected officials, paid by the tax payer and must be accountable). They are raised to great levels, praised for their acumen, skills and good deeds, then when their popularity has peaked and the general public and media can find nothing further of a positive nature to say, they commence a campaign to ‘bring them down a peg or two,’ the assumption being that they are too big for their boots and need a reality check. This I suspect, stems from our egalitarian background and the desire to be a classless society(which is a load of rubbish if we are all completely honest with ourselves. Of course we do, who are we kidding?).
One only has to read the headlines emblazoned across today’s newspapers to observe an example of this uniquely(as far as I can ascertain) Australian behaviour.It concerns the current visit to Australia of Paris Hilton. I want to preface what I am about to write by stating I could not care less about Paris Hilton, her life, reputation, wealth, morals, hair colour , whatever. It is none of my business and why should it be? Not so, according to the newspapers. Outrage abounds, Paris Hilton spent in excess of $5000.00 in a few minutes during a shopping spree in Melbourne yesterday! Serial bleeding hearts(I have also been called a bleeding heart on occasion but I know that no amount of bagging those who have financial abundance will be of benefit to the causes I support) have come out of the wood work condemning her extravagance, stating that amount of money could have bought a fresh water pump for an African village, fed the homeless for a month and /or paid for crisis accommodation for those sleeping on the streets! Of course it could have, but why single her out and what right have these individuals and the public to point their righteous finger at her when everywhere around us are examples of extravagance and indulgence? Is it not going too far to dictate how a person should spend their money? Has the money not gone into the local economy and as a consequence will have a flow on effect, to employers, employees and their families her in this country? The talk back stations are running hot about it and most callers agree that Ms Hilton’s spending habits are exorbitant and inappropriate given the current financial downturn. All I can say in reply to the media and moaning public is get a life, examine your own spending patterns closely, particularly the amounts spent of recent Christmas gifts, then as a gesture of good will, donate an equivalent amount to the homeless, hungry or impoverished African villages! We as a nation can be such hypocrites 😦