21 December, 2019
I’ve been troubled lately by the fires around me and the apparent ‘silence’ from my Prime Minister. Below is my attempt at empathising with him, noting my characterisation of his feelings and needs are my interpretation of his behaviour as it is reported through the media and as I guess what lies behind his choices of language and action or lack of it. This piece of writing is entirely fictional but the process of writing has helped me feel warmer towards him as a person while demanding he enact leadership and step up in our current crisis.
|A letter of connection between Scott Morrison (SM) and Mother Earth (ME).|
|ME:||Prime Minister Scott Morrison, I come in peace.
I’ve been watching the media reports about your holiday in Hawaii and criticism about your leadership over the last couple of days.
I’ve been wondering how this feels for you. I’d love you to tell me honestly how it feels to be criticised for taking your family on a holiday while fires are burning across Australia. It is important to me to understand your situation and your needs. It might help me understand our relationship better and feel more connected with you.
|SM:||Look. Yeah. I’ll tell you. I didn’t start the fires. I’m not responsible for when these things happen. How was I to know that during the one week that I take leave that there would be this catastrophic situation? And it wasn’t like I chose the dates for the holiday, either. I had to change the dates because of my prime ministerial obligations. I have to be overseas on diplomatic business to Japan and India during the holiday season. My holiday was never supposed to be this week anyway. I had no choice.
And besides, most Australians are reasonable and would understand a parent’s desire to take their kids on holidays. That’s all I was doing. I was spending time with my family. My girls don’t get to see much of me, and this was a little bit of time together. I don’t see why I’m copping so much flack for this. It isn’t unreasonable to take a short break. Give me a break. I’m only human.
|ME:||I’m really hearing your frustration that your plans weren’t in your control and that what you planned to do for a holiday was only normal and reasonable, anyway. I’m hearing a desire for understanding.|
|SM:||Yes. I work very hard, every day. I’m committed to my role as prime minister, but I’m only human, you know. I need a rest, too. I need time with my family. I need time to recuperate. And I get so little opportunity. I’m really resentful of the media and journalists who whip up public protest. I know that the quiet Australians understand. I just wish the media would worry about the fires and not me. I’m just really angry. I’m not one of the brave volunteers who fights the fires. I’m not one of the people in the command headquarters. People should know that.|
|ME:||It sounds like you are needing understanding.|
|SM:||Yes, and now I’m coming home from my holiday early because of the pressure placed on me… I’m being made to feel guilty and ashamed and I don’t deserve that. I’m not that kind of person. I’m really hurt.
And you know, what really pisses me off, is that I can’t control what you do, or change what parts of you burn. I’m not God. I’m not in control of God’s will. I don’t know what God’s plans are for me… or for you, or for the rest of the peoples of the world, for that matter. God’s hand is in everything. But what I do know is that God rewards those you repent and ask for his forgiveness. There is heaven waiting for those of us who believe. And those of us who do, know we will meet again in heaven. So you see, you can’t blame me. I’m not God. Why don’t people understand that?
|ME:||So, it seems to me that you are feeling guilty, ashamed and angry because you believe that this situation of catastrophic fires, burning and extreme temperatures is not of your making, nor are you responsible for it. It is God’s will, not yours.|
|SM:||Yes, that’s absolutely right. I’m not responsible. Why don’t people get that?|
|ME:||Are you needing reassurance and acceptance? Are you needing Australians to recognise that this is not your fault.|
|SM:||Yes, it’s not my fault. I’m powerless to change this situation. All I can do as Prime Minister is offer my condolences, encourage Australians to stay strong, believe in miracles and accept God’s will. That’s all I can do.|
|ME:||I’m guessing that you need recognition that you are doing the best that you can do. That it’s not your responsibility.|
|SM:||Yes, that’s it. I want recognition for what I do and that it’s not my fault.|
|ME:||I hear that recognition really matters to you.|
|SM:||Yes, it does. It really matters. I’m a good person. I love my country, and I love my God. I just want acknowledgement and recognition.|
|ME:||I am hearing that you might also need acknowledgement for what you do and recognition that this is not your fault. Is that right?|
|SM:||Yes, that’s right. That’s it. Acknowledgement and recognition that it’s not my responsibility. Actually, I really want acceptance.|
|ME:||Acceptance. Right. Acceptance is important to you.|
|SM:||Yes. Acceptance matters.|
… Holding space in silence …
|ME||Is there anything else you’d like me to hear? Are you feeling finished? Complete?|
|ME:||I just want to thank you for that. For being so honest. I really appreciated your authenticity.
I’m wondering if you’d be willing to tell me how it feels right now?
|SM:||Good. Yeah. Better. It feels good to be heard. To feel acceptance. Thank you.|
I’m wondering also if you’d be willing to hear how it is for me right now?
|SM:||Yeah. I would. Tell me,… please.|
|ME:||Well, these fires in Australia, Scott, are getting worse and worse. My flora is burning, my land is scorched, my atmosphere is polluted, my animals and my peoples are choking on smoke haze. The high temperatures, the stronger winds, the lack of rain, the persistent droughts are all happening because of the increasing carbon levels in my atmosphere and oceans. I’m sick. I’m sad because I’m sick. I’m getting sicker. I’ve been trying over the recent years to manage my health but now I’m slowly losing the battle of wellbeing and environmental balance. And I’m frightened because my ill health is speeding up. I’m less and less able to balance my health enough now to keep my lands, flora, fauna and people safe. I’m so worried about my ability to support life, to support the lives that rely on me… my plants, my animals and my humans. I love them all but I’m crying these days because I’m getting worse. I’m becoming toxic. I can’t give my inhabitants a safe home anymore. Your home is becoming unsafe, unpredictable, unbalanced. And what makes me really terrified is that I can’t seem to counter the changes, I can’t seem to stop them now …. things are spiralling out of control. This is devastating to me. I’m feeling helpless.|
|SM:||Wow. I’m hearing your pain, your fear and helplessness. I’m hearing you are crying, crying out for help.|
|ME:||Yes, I need help. I need help because so much of what is happening to me now is out of my control. I need help with restoring the systems that I’ve lost control of.|
|SM:||I’m hearing that you need help restoring the balance, help with the systems that you’ve lost control of.|
|ME:||Yes, that’s right. I’m feeling so alone in my crisis.|
|SM:||I’m guessing too, that you might be needing help from people? Like maybe they need to step up and assist? I’m hearing you telling me that you need assistance to help you restore your health.|
|ME:||Yes, I do. Globally…I’m needing assistance. I’m longing for humanity to recognise that there is a need to change behaviour across communities, cities and countries. I’m wanting leaders to work with me to restore my health. I can’t do it alone anymore.|
|SM:||I’m really sensing the longing for those in positions of power and influence to help you recover. I hear you asking for help from leaders.|
|ME:||Yes, I really feel weak and vulnerable. So, when I hear you say that that my bad health could be God’s will or part of his plan and that it is out of your control, I’m so sad and alone. I feel despair because the agency that comes with your leadership as Australia’s Prime Minister is the kind of authority and influence that I need to survive. Your agency is important for my survival.|
|SM:||I’m hearing you crying out for human leaders like me to exercise our authority, influence and agency. I’m hearing your fear and desperation as you face the future feeling sick and alone. I’m hearing your sadness as I say, ‘I’m not responsible’, ‘It’s not my fault’.|
|ME:||And, you are right. It isn’t directly your fault. It’s not anyone one person’s fault. It’s a problem we all face. It’s a situation we can all address. It’s a future we can all remake. It’s human behaviour we can influence to change. It’s a situation poised for our urgent joint cooperation, care and love.|
|SM:||I’m hearing your acknowledgement that it’s no one person’s fault, not even mine. I’m hearing that it is a problem that we both have and that cooperation, connection and love can bring us together to find a solution. I’m hearing that change can be led….|
|ME:||Yes! That’s what I’m needing. I’m wanting you to hear that change will help me. Would you be willing to use your agency as the Prime Minister of Australia to help me, Mother Earth, to recover? To help Australians help me to heal?|
|SM:||I hear you. You are telling me that human behavioural change will help you heal. I hear you. And I understand now that I can help you. There is a place for my leadership and there are many things that I can do. Yes, I would be willing to help you. I feel your care and love for me and I feel my love for you. I love my home, I love my fellow Australians. I love my country. I will help you.|
|ME:||Thank you. I love you, too, Scott.
In peace, Mother Earth.