Occupy Sydney Retrospective: The first few months. (Part One)

Yesterday was Occupy Sydney’s 150th day of encountering hope, awakening, police harassment, inspiration, adversity, sunshine, torrential rain, ideas, beauty and truth, among many other things that occupy both the physical and metaphysical realms.

Occupy Sydney started off with a bang on the 15th of October, 2011.  One thousand people occupied Martin Place and the square was alive with a sense of possibility. Around the world on that day, thousands of other cities and towns had answered the call from Occupy Wall Street to rise up peacefully against the violence and corruption of the global financial system, the tyranny of corporate greed. The Occupy movement is a non-partisan movement uniting under the assertion that corporate greed has gone too far and we need to shift the focus to human need and true democratic awakening. Having such a broad unifying message means that a diverse range of people have been drawn to the movement. Unlike political parties and most organisations, the Occupy Movement does not have a party line, and if you talk to different people from within the movement, they will express different views and hopes about where whey see Occupy taking us. There are those who want the government to introduce policies that regulate the banks more and address corporate destruction of ecosystems. There are those who have become so disillusioned with what some call a “two party dictatorship” in Australia that they believe we need to overhaul the whole system. There are those who believe in no government at all. There are those who believe in a smaller government and many other opinions in between. The Occupy Movement has brought these people together to have a conversation, to challenge each other, and to build consensus for a better world.

I came to Occupy on the 19th of October. I’ve been in and out of social movements all my life, and I, like many other people, found what I’d been waiting for for a very long time, perhaps all my life. Having helplessly watched as a child as governments sold out their people, big business sold out everything and people sold out their people, I’ve been in a constant state of mourning all my life for the physical and spiritual destruction of the Earth and it’s beings. To a degree I’d lost hope for any change, but I came to check out Occupy Sydney for five minutes and I was so inspired I’ve barely left since. Here was a bunch of smart, switched on people who were determined to seek the truth and act on it, together. These people, unlike the powers that be, knew how to share, and they were sharing ideas, dreams, meals, chores and sleeping space with each other. The atmosphere of the Occupation for that first week was amazing. People with polarised views were having respectful dialogues with each other, striving to see things from the other’s point of view. I believe the simple acts of sharing and listening as equals are the most import tools for consensus building.

Unfortunately, the golden period was not going to last if the state had anything to do with it. At 5am on Sunday the 23rd of October, NSW Police, including members of the public order & riot squad, moved in with no warning. For many people involved in Occupy, this was their first real and confronting experience of police brutality.  NSW Police had learnt from the mistakes of their Victorian counterparts, who had shocked most Australians (except for the marginalised groups who have always experienced police brutality) with their brutal eviction of Occupy Melbourne in broad daylight. As @WeAreChangeBriz said, #occupysydney NSW Police have adapted – Strike in the dead of night: no media, no public, no world. #occupyoz. One young woman from Occupy Sydney was assaulted by riot police so badly that her body was covered in bruises and then held overnight in prison where she was tormented, humiliated and strip searched. From this point on, the police made it very clear that their mission was to wage a war of attrition on the Occupiers, employing state terrorism tactics including intimidation, theft, unlawful arrests, abusing the justice system by clogging up the courts with malicious prosecution, kicking protestors awake and making arrests in the early hours of the morning when nobody was around to see. Police the world over have proven the Occupiers right. We don’t live in democratic countries where you are free to express your dissent peacefully. Whether you protest peacefully or violently, you’ll be caught up in the criminal injustice system, and the only people that start and engage in riots at protests are the police, particularly the public order and riot squad. It’s important to note here that certain groups within society have been victims of police brutality and harassment for as long as the police have been in existence, mostly people from racial minorities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in particular, and people from low socio-economic backgrounds. So we can’t go harping on as if activists were the first people to experience police brutality, but we should definitely be using Occupy Sydney’s relative high profile to break down the police’s carefully constructed deception that they are there to serve and to protect. They’re definitely protecting someone, but it’s not the 99%.

After the raid, there was a General Assembly in the afternoon close to UTS. Emotions were running high, but eventually consensus was reached on a rally to re-occupy on November the 5th. A number of people chose to take a member of the Aboriginal community up on his offer to facilitate an occupation of Victoria Park, where everyone could engage in a smoke ceremony. The power of the sacred fire and the symbolic power of the site was enough to make the police back down on their threats to evict the occupiers. Some of the people who occupied the park continued a moving occupation of public spaces, one night occupying bronte beach.

Throughout the two weeks between the 23rd October and the 5th November, Three people in particular maintained a presence in Martin Place. Bob would come every day, like clockwork, and set up a discussion point where he would share his extensive knowledge of political economics. Peter would hold the space overnight, and Bern would meditate in the space three times a day. As she meditated, she tried to block out the threats of arrest that she was receiving from NSW Police for meditating in a public space. During the two weeks, General Assemblies and Working groups were held in Martin Place.

On the 5th of November, over 2000 people turned up to re-occupy.  Occupiers marched through the sunny streets, chanting. One of the more visible aspects of the march was a funeral procession for democracy.

After the rally, Occupiers knuckled down for a General Assembly (GA) and eventually decided to occupy Hyde Park. The police were moving in and Occupiers avoided confrontation by peacefully moving to Hyde Park. The GA continued and everything went quite well until everyone saw what looked like a scrum of police officers. It turned out that they were pushing each other aside to get at a woman who had pitched a tent. Two other occupiers tried to defend her only to be arrested. It was very clear then that the fight for a scrap of public space was not going to be an easy one. Despite that, spirits were high, Occupiers shared food, there was drumming and a couple of people tried to settle down to sleep only to be kicked awake by cops seconds later.

When more riot cops began to move in, it became clear that the Occupiers would not be safe unless we stuck together. So we all locked arms and that’s how we remained for most of the night, with other occupiers making sure we had enough food and water and a very clever chicken keeping many people entertained:

By the early hours of the morning, it became clear that we were not going to be able to defend ourselves peacefully, many people had left and the number of police was swelling. We made a collective decision to leave and we were followed and harassed by the police while we walked. They told us that we had to separate from one another, showing no concern for more vulnerable members of the group.

A small number of Occupiers then occupied an undisclosed public space at the invitation of the person who mantains it, and had a much-needed debrief about the events of the night before getting some sleep and heading to Hyde Park for a General Assembly in the morning. By this point, a lot of Occupiers were so tired and disheartened that they were unable to listen to other points of view and a lot of heated discussion ensued. I don’t remember what it was about now, but I have the feeling it was about whether or not to Occupy and the process of the GA. Eventually, the GA broke off into various working groups and Occupiers were fairly content to see what Clover Moore had to say on the 7th November, when Irene Doutney would be requesting that Occupy Sydney be allowed to occupy a public space to Kerb the issue of police harassment.

On the 7th November, Just after “hosting” a Noam Chomsky talk at Town Hall, Clover Moore did some fancy political footwork to avoid answering any of Irene Doutney’s questions honestly. She denied claims of police brutality and stated support for any actions carried out by the police. She suggested that she host a “City Talk” as a solution where she would invite business & community leaders to talk about inequality. Not a great solution for a grassroots movement, Clover. Only when the Greens suggested an amendment; that an Occupy participant speak at the city talk did she even let up on that. It was such a copout and an act of contempt for the Occupiers that no occupiers were willing to go near the City Talk.

A small group of people at that point decided not to wait for permission to re-occupy as it seemed that every official channel that we exhausted, we were knocked back. We would just have to assert our right. At about 11pm, 5 people re-occupied Martin Place. And we’ve been there ever since.

To be continued…

Teenage Years

This is written by Kirra, our youngest Occupier. She raises a very important question. Do teenagers act out against society because they’re rebels without causes or do they act out because something deep within them rejects a petulant society? When people reach adulthood and tend to accept things as they are is it maturity or is it an admission of defeat, a broken spirit submitting to the status quo?

Our teenage years are the times we question reality, societal norms, and the state of the world. In our childhood, through societal structures, which are influenced by the state, we are brought up to believe everything the state wants us to. Whether we learn this from our parents or close family/friends, who have been through the whole process themselves & teach you what they believe to be true. It is also taught to us through schools, whether run by the state or not, any school is liable to be coerced into compliance by the state, and by that token are an instrument of social control.

 

If not by school, by advertising, which is forced on a child’s still growing and malleable mind all their waking lives. When you are child, you take everything in and believe its true – you do not learn to question things until you are older, making this the ideal state of mind to shape. When you reach your teenage years, you reach a stage where you begin to question everything – but you are still attending school, still victims to advertising and still (whether you believe it or not) learning stuff from people close to you. But nevertheless, most teenagers you talk to will express views that the world is screwed up, in some way or another. This state of mind is dangerous for the state, so they make rules like ‘you cannot choose where you live till you are 16/17’ & you must attend school until you are 17’ and guess what, it works – because most teenagers reach a stage, where they give up on being able to shape or change the world they live in, and just reach a conclusion to make the best of what they have.  The state has achieved its goal, another generation to exploit, another generation that doesn’t question anything, and believes that the state is fundamentally good. Then they have children, and the whole process starts again. If this cycle is allowed to go on, it will continue forever. But is this really the world you want to be living, don’t you want to be able to question? I am 15 and I am actually scared of reaching a stage where I don’t question, where I accept everything and after hating school, getting a job I hate even more, just so I can help a corporation in some tiny way and ‘do my part in the economy & society’. So, how do we convince a large enough percentage of a generation to keep questioning? Because I believe if a large enough percentage of them did, they would realize how evil the system really is, and eventually there would be change.

Occupy Sydney acts to throw Serco Overboard

Smashing up people’s lives: your tax dollars at work.

 Serco is famously known (to those who have heard of it) as “the biggest company you’ve never heard of” best described as a company that provides a collection of services, Serco holds the contracts for most of the traffic light systems in England, all the traffic light systems in Ireland, as well as holding a lot of government contracts for technical & IT support in Australia. As well as these services, Serco provides far more sinister services.  Serco runs Australia’s immigration detention centres at a profit. Human rights of refugees are abused while Australian taxpayers foot a one billion dollar bill.  By passing the buck onto Serco’s “care and protection” of asylum seekers, the Australian government is able to essentially turn a blind eye to practices that are designed  to trigger mental health issues in people who are already survivors of torture and trauma and leave it up to inadequate internal disciplinary action, unless of course the media applies intense pressure to the government.

Media pressure has been applied in the case of hunger strikes (Serco did not hold the contracts at that time, another for-profit company did), and the suicides of certain asylum seekers, the latest victim being an Iranian refugee just a few weeks ago.  He was fleeing from persecution in Iran, the same persecution that had killed his brother in Iran. He got to Australia only to find that any hope of freedom from persecution was dashed. Persecution of refugees is rife in Australia. He died of despair. It’s appalling that people are denied asylum when the very places they seek asylum in often had a part in destabilising their home countries (e.g. America, Britain, Australia)

Of course, the media often sides with the government and does Serco’s bidding, Demonising “boat people”. The Murdoch press loves to editorialise about asylum seekers, labeling them as heartless, irresponsible people who actually have an alternative to getting on a leaky boat to Australia with their children in a last bid for survival, and a burden on the taxpayer. The problem with media coverage like this is that it draws attention away from the realities. Realities like the fact that the humanitarian stream is the smallest immigration stream among any of the department of immigration’s streams, the highest being the skilled migrant stream. Another reality that the sensationalisers of refugee issues don’t want you to know is that the largest proportion of visa overstayers hail from Great Britain. The other fact that they don’t want you to think about is that all but two percent of us are boat people. All of us but Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders came from overseas, the government-corporation partnership depends on people falling for their divide and conquer tactics.

Can you see why Serco would want you to hate refugees when they’re making one billion dollars a year from locking up refugees? So make sure you do your own research, these people’s quality of life depend on public awareness and the public’s willingness to act out against policies that harm fellow 99%ers.

Serco is also reaping the benefits of what I like to call the prison cell-off. Serco is gaining contracts for prisons built and previously run by state governments. Serco did not have to foot the bill to build these prisons, taxpayers did, but Serco gets to ride on the taxpayer gravy train by running them. Internationally, the rate of convictions and recidivism tends to go up when prisons are run privately for profit. Really, it’s a no-brainer. If a company is profiting from locking up prisoners it will lobby the government and attempt to sway public discourse to wards passing more punitive criminal laws. Internally, it’s likely to make only tokenistic attempts to rehabilitate inmates, because re-offending leads to profit. The criminal (in)justice system then becomes a trade in human lives. Prisoners and asylum seekers stop becoming inmates and start becoming assets; commodities. In England, Serco famously won a contract with the government on the proviso that it would build extra beds into the facility. What the government didn’t think of when it was running the prison was just to put beds in the existing toilets rather than spending on building. That’s what Serco did to maximize profits.

 Despite the fact that Serco has a history of violating the UN Convention on the Rights Of the Child*, Serco has scored a contract for WA’s new juvenile detention facility. This is in the wake of a damning ruling by the High Court in England after the death of 14 year old Adam Rickwood who hung himself while on remand at Hassockfield Secure Training Centre, where it was found that he had fallen victim to a system failure and an “unlawful regime”.  An inquest found that he was not the only young person suffering, and it’s important to note that he was being held on remand, so his case hadn’t yet gone to trial. Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence? The judicial enquiry found that young people had been restrained by employees yanking back the child’s thumb, or a blow to the child’s nose or ribs, which at the time amounted to unlawful restraint. Mr Justice Foskett, The judge who presided over the case, said:

 “The children and young persons sent to [secure training centres] were sent there because they had acted unlawfully and to learn to obey the law, yet many of them were subject to unlawful actions during their detention. I need, I think, say no more.”

 Now Serco is set to take over the operation of Sydney Ferries from the NSW Government. The Manly Jetcat service was taken over by a private company several years ago (now known as the Manly Fast Ferry) fares went through the roof with no actual benefit to the consumer to justify these price hikes. Given Serco’s track record, I daresay we’ll be seeing more of those fatal ferry accidents, lower quality service and higher costs for commuters, even though taxpayer money was used to build Sydney ferries.

Serco in a nutshell: you can usually get away with ORGANISED CRIME as long as it’s a private-sector public-sector partnership.

Photo: Liam Kesteven

On the 9th of March 2012 for International Stop Serco day, Occupy Sydney participants took part in protests outside Villawood Detention Centre, Chris Bowen’s (Federal Minister for locking up refugees) office, and Occupy Sydney staged an action against the Sydney Ferries takeover (video below) an autonomous occupy group also occupied a Sydney Ferry, dropping banners saying “Smash Serco Scum”, “Throw Serco Overboard” and “Fire Serco”. Actions were also held in Western Australia and the UK, among other places.

In my opinion, companies like Serco and the governments who hand Serco contracts willy-nilly are the real terrorists!

One can’t help but wonder if there is some grand plan to mismanage Sydney ferries so much that they become leaky boats, send them over to Indonesia with people smugglers to pick up some of those much maligned boat people to drop straight to detention centres so that Serco can make a killing. Did I mention that NSW Police will be patrolling ferries as the new revenue protection thugs? Maybe they can pick up a few custodial inmates for Serco along the way….

*In terms of detention of juvenile offenders, the UNCROC states that they must be treated with leniency, rehabilitation must be the main focus and imprisonment must only be used as a last resort.

@antloewenstein’s blog is an excellent source of information regarding Serco

Guantanamo style media censorship in Australian immigration detention centres: Sydney Morning Herald

Photos of Occupy Sydney ferry action: Liam Kesteven

Photos of Occupy Sydney ferry action: Yarek Gasiorek

Sydney Action against Serco: Article by unknown.

Leaked Serco Manual Details How to “strike” Asylum Seekers: SMH

Occupy Sydney backs a global call for a General Strike!

On February the 18th The General Assembly of Occupy Sydney endorsed a call for a Worldwide General Strike on May 1st.

This Strike is being organised in unison with other Occupies around the World, including Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Los Angeles & Occupy Oakland.

This will not just be a Call to No Work on May 1st but also No School, No Housework, No Shopping & No Banking.

Recently on February 28th Eleven Major Trade Unions in India organised a One-Day Strike Involving Millions of Workers in defence of public ownership and for stronger labour rights. GreenLeft Article

Occupy Sydney will be organising for May 1st with Unions and other Groups.

Reasons to strike in Australia

As Recent Job Cuts in the Financial Sector of Australia have shown the 1% continue to enjoy increasing profits and bonuses while sacking and outsourcing Australian Jobs and also not passing on Interest Rate Cuts to Hard Working Australians.

The minimum wage had to be fought for. Now what about a living wage? The National Institute of Labour Studies found that about 30% of Australians earning just above or just below the minimum wage were married and had dependent children. A further 8% earning just above or just below the minimum wage were sole parents. These parents work hard to give their children a good start in life, but when decent living standards, including nutrition and healthcare are beyond the reach of minimum wage recipients, how do these children get a “fair go?”

A UNSW Social Policy Research Centre study found that real income rises between low-paid workers and high paid workers have become increasingly disparate:

From 1975 to 2006, real full time non-managerial earnings increased by:

7% for tenth percentile (top of the bottom 10%) of full-time wage earners; 22% for the 50th percentile (median) full-time wage earner; 38% for the 90th percentile (bottom of the top 10%).

The distribution of wages is becoming more and more unequal. Unless we stand up against this, the income inequality will continue to grow unchecked. If capital provides access (to education & training, healthcare, the legal system, recreational activities etc.) Then how much access can the average, hardworking joe afford compared to the (shrinking) middle class and those who control the flow of capital? Does this not debunk the myth that if you work hard you can make it to the top? Isn’t that like the belief that you might have to take the suffering in this life, but when you’ll die you’ll go to heaven? Making it to the top relies on a mix of cold-hearted ruthlessness, luck & chance, privilege and assets.

A study by Masterman-Smith et al using focus groups of low wage earners sheds more light on the lived experience of low paid workers. This study indicates that families reliant on low pay must budget very carefully to avoid financial hardship, foregoing things most Australians take for granted such as dental care, annual holidays, a car, eating out with friends, and buying a home.

Between 1991 and 2011, house prices increased by 263%, while after‐tax income grew by only 95%.

In 2007–08, there was a shortage of 493,000 private rental dwellings in Australia that were both affordable and available for those in the bottom 40% of the income distribution — with 311,000 being needed in capital cities.

The second most common specific reason for seeking assistance from homelessness services was financial stress in 2010-11.

30% of employees are employed on a part-time basis and a similar figure on a casual basis. If you’re in casual employment, IS YOUR JOB SAFE?

With an increasing casualisation of the workforce, rising cost of living, skyrocketing house & rental prices and wages stagnating in real terms while executives enjoy oversized and growing pay packets, SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!

Why work to make the corporations richer? The only power we have is the withdrawal of our labour. Strike for control over our own lives.

The strike is in solidarity with the global May Day General Strike. There is general agreement among the people of this world that the 1% has partied on our tab for long enough. They have caused untold suffering for the Earth and it’s beings. It’s time for us to stop showing our consent by withdrawing our participation from this sick, sad system.

Occupy Sydney Podcast No.1: Sydney General Strike

^^^^Jacob and Tim from the Sydney General Strike working group and Hugo from Occupy Sydney Media (@occupysydmedia)  have created the first Occupy Sydney podcast! They all have great voices for the radio (nice faces too though) and extensive knowledge of worker’s struggles, past and present.

Occupy Fridays!

Occupy Sydney will be hosting Occupy Fridays beginning on friday the 23rd and continuing every friday after that. Occupy Fridays seeks to facilitate a hub for arts, free education, creativity and ideas. Occupy Fridays is open to anyone and everyone and will be an open source event; which means that anyone involved can contribute and participate in determining the destiny of Occupy Fridays and the future of Occupy Sydney as a whole.

Occupy Fridays is a great way to engage for the first time or re-engage with YOUR Occupy Movement and explore alternatives to the current economic and social realities that govern our lives.

On Friday the 23rd, there will be a variety of ways to get involved which are fun and educational, including:
-Freeschool workshops & teach-ins planned, including a freeschool on the financial system and a “know your rights” workshop. Also for anyone who wants to spontaneously hold a workshop can do so!
-Portugese conversation class at 10:30pm
-Placard making area
-Musicians Welcome and please bring your own instruments for jammin’
– Kid’s section – 3-4pm with @aleetatweeter
– Tiny Tents Task Force
-Yoga Lessons
– Friday Night Sustainable Cinema (Movie TBA)
– Stencil making (for Occupy Sydney T-shirts and such, bring an old T-shirt and spare material for flags and banners)
-Occupiers will be walking around getting voxpops from people for our “Have Your Say” project. If you’d like to contribute thoughts or ideas, they will be the strange people walking around with video cameras. They’re pretty friendly. so don’t be shy, get your voice heard!

If you have any ideas or skills that you’d like to offer, come to the Occupy Fridays Working Group at 5pm on tuesdays, otherwise, come along, one and all! it’ll be a great night! Please come armed with ideas, musical instruments, a plate of food and a touch of mischeif!

Occupy Fridays will be an overnight event, so if you’d like to bring sleeping gear and occupy overnight, please do so but no tents please as that presents legal issues.

Occupy Fridays is also a drug and alcohol free event. Please respect that and make sure it remains a safe space for all participants!

Please invite your friends!

This is your life…and it’s ending one second at a time.

This is your life and it’s ending one second at a time. You and I live in a wasteland of greed and commerce. In this wasteland nothing is sacred. Everything, including you and me, is seen by the huge corporate powers that be as a commodity. Something to be exploited, bought and sold. Is this the world you want to live in? A world where every abuse of the environment, every abuse of human rights is rationalised with the phrase, “it’s good for the economy. “ I think the economy will always be unhealthy as long as our earth, our waterways, our trees and our people are seen as nothing but a collection of dispensable resources. For as long as an economy is called an economy it will be unhealthy.  One day soon, if humanity collectively keeps sleepwalking down this trail of destruction, there will not be a single oasis left in this wasteland. The real terrorists are not Jihads, the real terrorists belong to governments and corporations.

Every day, a gun is held to your head and you’re told, if you don’t  spend extra time in the office without pay, if you don’t kiss your tyrannical bosses’ arse, if you don’t pay taxes so that the government can send more soldiers to kill innocent children in the middle east, if you don’t buy the latest smartphone, you will be out on the street. You will be ostracised from society. You will be diagnosed with oppositional defiance disorder. You won’t get any healthcare. And so you continue, desperately unhappy but trapped in the cycle of economic slavery.

The debts pile up, you get another two jobs on top of your first to make ends meet. Unfortunately you never get to see your family because you’re always working, so your kids are raised by TV. They want everything the advertisements are telling them that they absolutely have to have. They start talking like Americans and become desensitized to violence and lacking in compassion. Because of the guilt you feel about never being around to play with them, or listen to their troubles or hear about what they did at school that day, you feel obliged to make up for that by buying them all of the useless, gimmicky toys and gadgets they ask for, most of which end up in the ever growing pile of discarded junk you’ve been meaning to go through in the garage. You try to forget about the fact that most of these gimmicks were made by small, underpaid children in “developing” countries and by buying these things, you’re financing child labour. You send your kids to the most prestigious private schools in the hope that it will make up for your absentee parenting, but you find that your kids just end up with a strange mix of grandiosity, disillusionment, cynicism and a lack of empathy.

While you’re paying for all of this, the debts continue to pile up. You always wanted to go for a family holiday, but the economic treadmill is calling, maybe you’ll go on a holiday next year. By the time you retire, well past what they call retirement age, you haven’t got long. You’ve neglected yourself over the years, and you’ve got heart disease and insulin-controlled diabetes from all the cheeseburger meals you ate at your desk.

Now that you’re retired, you try to see your kids more, but they don’t want to know you. One of your kids is way to busy “networking” with other worker bees from other big businesses. She lives in Hong Kong now, and sends you a digital Christmas card every year. Your birthday is long forgotten.

Your other kid rejected your way of life entirely, and now lives in a hippie commune. You can’t really work out what they do there, it looks like a whole  bunch of singing and communing with nature. He doesn’t want to have anything to do with you either, when you ask why, you’re told that you’ve got your priorities all wrong, money has fucked you up spiritually and you don’t even know your own kids. he’ll tell you that he’s not really sure whether this is where s/he wants to end up but it’s her/his journey and he’ll be doing a damn sight better than you as long as he doesn’t follow in your footsteps. You’ll secretly concede that it’s a fairly valid argument while openly meeting his wall of anger with your own.

Your partner left you long ago, saying something about not getting her needs met, despite the fact that she was also holding down too much employment. You heard unconfirmed murmurings along the grapevine that said partner is now pretty high up in the church of scientology now. You know that’s just escapism.

So you end up suffering a drawn out, undignified death from bowel cancer. You have no friends; they lost interest when they couldn’t extract anything from you anymore. Your kids didn’t show. A compassionate nurse holds your hand as you take your last breaths. This time you appreciated that a small act of kindness, at the right time, can be more precious than all the material wealth you earned in your lifetime. You look back on your life as you die alone in a hospice and realise that meaning isn’t created from what you have, it’s created or lost through what you do. Your last thought is:

Maybe we (humanity) are doing it wrong….