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20-20 Vision

Tuesday, 1 September 2020  | John Kidson

'The universe is generous.' I heard her speaking to a friend at the next table along. 'Everything comes back. It all returns to you.' My mind had been previously occupied with thoughts political. A generous universe was not really at the forefront of my thinking. I was wondering - was it Henry Lawson who observed: 'no matter who's in power, Australians are always anti the government - it wouldn't be Australian to be otherwise!' In my head was the old adage: 'the people always get the government they deserve'.

Now I can go along with that in any given election, but how true is this over time?

I mean what are we doing now to deserve the government we'll have beyond 2020? What did we do to deserve the government we have today? (What ever did we do?! I hear you asking that same question every three years.) A more important question to be considered is: what can we do now about any future government, say in 2090?

All who have the privilege of working with today's students are working with the leaders, the movers and shakers of 2025 and beyond.

People today speak of the 'hollow men and women' in various leadership roles in our community. Few of our 'captains of industry', few of our political figures, are admired for their inner qualities - their character. Since the death of Sir Donald Bradman, few of our sporting heroes are admired for anything other than skill. (Cathy Freeman, Craig Foster and Adam Goodes may be three exceptions!)

So what is our role as 'future leader-shapers'? What should be education's aim? Surely we must go beyond giving hope of likely post-Covid employment after graduating? If today's leaders are hollow, perhaps today's students need filling. On-line education is forcing a number of professionals to re-consider the importance of social integration at university. What is the value of the (now rare) face-to-face experience during tertiary education?

The truth is that any course of study must stir not just the brains and/or the bodies of today's students but particularly the hearts and guts, the minds and spirits of those who will lead the third decade of this century.

Our contribution to the lives of students will return to us, to our children and our grandchildren. The universe is generous? Perhaps. Certainly one day the government we are shaping will come to power. Our just desserts.

John Kidson is a former chaplain at Southern Cross University.


Ian Hore-Lacy
October 5, 2020, 12:30PM
You say 'Few of our "captains of industry", few of our political figures, are admired for their inner qualities - their character'.

How can we get to know anything much of those inner qualities - whether good or very ordinary? Media focus is on news, not character - which in any case needs to be perceived through the viewer's values.

The recent CBF breakfast interview with George Savvides, chairman of SBS, gave a wonderful insight to his character, but it takes that kind of exercise.

So we shouldn't be too quick to judge negatively!

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