Words & Photography by: Lauren Gallina
The warmer months are approaching; as we put away our puffer jackets and let our bodies breathe again, I want to present us with some ideas for hope and growth moving forward.
During the past few years, one thing has become abundantly clear — in Australia there is zero societal importance placed on community. From scientists gatekeeping research to make more money, to our government paying overseas artists to create content here and then fly back home, and to our leaders normalising gaining wealth over the wellbeing of our community. The ideology we have been consuming recently has created a sense of isolation and individualism within our generation. It is difficult to understand what a community should be when protesters and Chris from high school are shouting at us for wanting to keep others safe. Oh, and the people in charge of our futures are taking away basic human rights.
In response to the pride that some people take in not caring about others, I want to underline the most important concept in humanity: community.
#1 Create a Community
The need to come together has been the catalyst for civilisation and society across cultures. Archeologists have found evidence in Australia of communities creating shelter from rocks in Madjedbebe over 60,000 years ago. Since humans have been around, we have been coming together to create shelter and share food, knowledge, arts, history and medicine. Collectivist culture honours this heritage, underlining the importance of relationships and sharing resources.
Individualism has come as the consequence of westernised greed. The colonialist ideology to conquer other people whilst acquiring wealth is still embedded in the values of our leaders, and moving forward, must be investigated and dismantled in our generation.
So, my fellow twenty-somethings, please do not forget what community means. Have empathy for those around you and when you are given the opportunity to act as a collective, do, because this is what we need to do in order to heal each other, ourselves, and this world.
#2 Learn To Let Go
I hope our generation can learn to let go of the expectation that we should be the most productive, lucrative, grind-set version of ourselves. Not every passion and hobby should become a side hustle, and not every purchase needs to be justified with how it can make you more successful.
We are living in a time where grind culture is normalised — we’re encouraged to spend any free time working towards a goal that is entirely dependent on luck by people with egos and confirmation biases. You are 23, and you don’t have to be famous on TikTok or Etsy to be successful, I promise. Owning land and having stocks is all well and good if that’s your path, but you’re also still figuring it out, so give yourself a minute to do so without comparing yourself to others.
#3 Take a Breather
This draws me to my final point: there is so much time ahead of you. I hope we understand that we can’t expect ourselves to be finished, complete and thriving human beings when we’re juggling so much to simply survive.
Instead of spending those rare and special moments of spare time you have panicking because society is wrongly demanding more of you, take time to read, lay in the sun, watch your favourite shows, go to the movies with your friends, hike, or have dinner with your family. I hope we are able to enjoy this earth and all of its offerings like we deserve to.
You are doing enough, just look how far you have come already. I’m very proud of you and us, and at the end of it all, I hope you are too.