Today I watched a TED Talk by Simon Anholt about the need for governments to look outward instead of inward. Anholt believes governments and their citizens need to stop making decisions based on what’s in it for the individual. He feels this is how global issues will be solved.
He elaborated on this concept by talking about his Good Country Index that was created to determine what country does the most good for the world – the country that looks the most outward.
The country that won surprised me.
And while I don’t agree with everything he said, I really liked the idea of changing our thinking; no longer viewing each country as an island with separate interests and independent from the rest of the world. This just isn’t the case anymore.
While watching this video I thought of Australia and to what degree our government looks outwards. Lately I feel like we are looking more inward than outward and I wonder what this is doing to our country’s reputation around the world and its affect on our society. I used to be proud to call myself Australian but now I feel embarrassed and angry that our country is putting its own interests above global interests – our stance on asylum seekers as well as climate change are obvious ones.
So I asked myself, when did we start believing that we could turn our back on issues such as these and not be affected by them – now or later? When did we start prioritising the ideas of wealth, prosperity and security over compassion, inclusion and equality? When did we decide that ‘getting ahead’ was our purpose in life?
So many selfish decisions.
I’ve come to the realisation, like Anholt did, that I don’t want to live in a country that is the wealthiest or the happiest. I want to live in a country that cares about global issues and people, and acts accordingly.
I want to live in a good country.
Featured image from The Good Country Index.