AS a community are we becoming more abusive to others?
Abusive people believe they have the right to control and bully other people.
This is brought about by their own belief that their feelings and needs should be given priority, and because they enjoy the feeling of power that abuse, and bullying gives them.
Any form of relationship between people does not include ownership of any individual (whether a spouse, or the person behind the counter at the local store).
Too often when in a relationship, an incorrect belief is formed that ownership is established, and this inevitably results in a lack of respect.
My position within our community as Mayor has given me a greater insight into how people are interacting with each other.
Recently I have noticed that people are not able to discuss issues calmly and respectfully, without directing personal insults to individuals, both written and verbal.
I have seen this first-hand, and it has had an emotional impact on those affected.
Social media as a communication platform is a powerful tool. However, it continues to be used as a destructive weapon in the negative critiquing of others without a solid foundation of facts, and in many cases an unbalanced view.
My view is that the way we treat each other is such an inherent part of our daily lives, but we no longer hold ourselves to account or see it as important to ours and others mental health. In a recent Australian survey, two thirds of the participant’s thought that bullying was part of the Australian culture, but only ten percent felt it should be so.
As a community we are much better than this.
This is not what we are known for. We are a community that problem solves in a constructive, respectful, and collaborative way.
Being able to listen and work together, respecting and valuing each other’s perspective.
Perhaps in the last two years enduring Covid-19 as a society we have become Covid-weary.
However, Covid-19 is not an excuse; we need to maintain our values. Living by our values sets the foundation of who we really are.
Whatever challenges we face as individuals and as a community in life we must maintain our self-control and respect for each other.
As we move into the new year, it is time now to rethink how we communicate with others and unite for the betterment of our community.
These are my personal views not that of Council.
Mayor, Wattle Range Council.