Three months ago I posted about the values of Daylesford CrossFit and how I foreseen the values being challenged in the future. My prediction has now played out and I am finding it extremely stressing to choose between two values that I deeply believe in.
‘The principles that help you to decide what is right and wrong, and how to act in various situations” – Cambridge Dictionary
We all have our own values, even if you have never defined them and written them down, they will be there guiding you through important life decisions. Our own personal values will attract people with similar values and deter people with apposing values. If one of your core values is honesty, it is unlikely to have a close friend who is a compulsive liar. So it is likely that the people around you share similar values.
The men and women I served in the Army with, all shared similar values. Those values guided us to join in the Army in first place. However, even though our values of what is right and wrong are so similar, at this point in time I see a division in that community. I also see the same division in our own small community. The reason why I believe this is happening and why people who normally share the same values are at odds end with each other, is because 2 core Australian Values are apposing one another. Freedom and Life.
Fundamentally an Australian value is, We are all free and have our own individuality. Things like Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of choice, freedom of the press, freedom to demonstrate and that every person is treated equally and fairly. You are free to marry who ever you like, you are free to choose your own gender, your own profession, where you live, what school you go to and you are free to move within the borders of our country with little restrictions. No matter race, gender, religion, beliefs or ethnicity we are all Australian.
Those that believe that our freedoms are being lost are banding together. They have lost trust in the goverment and feel that democracy is being lost. It is turning them against the people who are doing everything they can to protect the vulnerable and stop the spread of the virus. It has caused violent protests in our city, it has started heated debate on social media. Those that fear losing their freedoms are turning on those that fear losing their life.
Their beliefs are not wrong they come from a place of love, they love their country and everyone in it and believe we should all be treated equal.
Fundamentally another Australian values is, We all have a right to life and as a collective we need to do what is best to protect and preserve life, especially for our most venerable. We have a history of mateship and looking out for the under dog. That means we do what ever it takes to look out for the whole community.
Those that believe that we need to do what is right to protect the vulnerable, see the freedom fighters as selfish. It is turning them against people who do not fear the virus and wish to continue life as normal. Someone that is not wearing a musk is an anti masker and is killing grandma’s, someone from a hotspot should be feared and treated differently. Anyone that poses as a threat is treated as such, creating pack mentalities of us and them. How quickly did we all fear other humans based solely on the geographical location of which they live. Creating new borders and restricting movements was needed, but how quickly people where divided is shocking.
Their beliefs are not wrong they come from a place of love, we want to protect the people we love and don’t want to see anyone get sick and definitely do not want to see people die. We must do what is right and protect the vulnerable.
Now these are two values that are extremely important in the military community. It is not like the old debate of, is it called a Potato Cake or Potato Scollop, which could go on for hours in the compound of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment and at times turn physical. To uphold life, putting others first before yourself and to uphold freedom. Those that have joined the military would die for your freedoms and for your life. They would give up their life to uphold these two values, making the topic a pretty spicy one.
What do we do when our values counter one another? It is extremely hard, it literally keeps me up at night. I have thought about this long and hard and what is most distressing in this current predicament, it is hard to talk about, without being labeled or excluded. So what do we do? how do we act? Can we exclude someone to possibly protect another? Can we impose on someones medical confidential to make everyone feel safe?
There is no simple answer.
We can uphold both values, we do not have to make a choice between one or the other. One is not right and one is not wrong, they are both Australian Values. The thought that we need to impose on peoples rights to freedom of choice is the only way to protect the most vulnerable in our society from this terrible virus, is absurd. We do not have to choose between which value is of greater importance, we can uphold both. Do not discard your mates, your brother, your sister over these two values you both believe in. It is confusing times, it is scary times, it is hard to know what is right and what is wrong.
I know for myself that I will continue to treat everybody the same and everyone will be kept safe.
I put my life on it.
Every freedom you have at some point in history someone has paid for with their life.
The greatest right of all is, life. Freedoms mean nothing if you are dead.
A life without freedom is no life at all.
I was once willing and still willing to die for your freedoms and for your life, as you take mine to save your own.