Contributions to De Minimis in 2018

We will never live in a world in which all people agree about all things. We can, however, build a world in which peoples’ disagreements are civil and do not define their interactions with one another.

A more civil public discourse

After concluding my term as ALSF President in July, I made a conscious decision to take a step back from active involvement in politics – particularly student politics. One of the (many) advantages of this decision was that it gave me the time to find the courage to begin writing pieces that were more contemplative and less political.

I genuinely enjoy thinking, discussing and writing about what I would broadly consider philosophy – what it means to be human and how we, as humans, relate to one another. In this respect, despite the at times sharp criticism it inevitably involved, I’m glad that I decided to expose myself by submitting my work to De Minimis.

Although (like most of my work) I wrote the bulk of it in a single sitting, my first piece was the product of about a month of reflections and feelings about ongoing current events.

While many different readers have had a variety of different takes on the piece, for me it was and has always been about self-knowledge and self-esteem first, tolerance second and politics a distant third.

It was also, unironically, a bit of an ode to two of the biggest influences in my life, my nonna and my mum. In a word, the article is love. Love of oneself for who one is, love of others for who they are and my love for my mum and nonna.

My second piece came from a deep sense of dissatisfaction with how nasty, vitriolic and uncivil Western political systems have seemed to become in recent years.

It wasn’t intended as a criticism of any particular political actors, or as a call for sympathy towards any others. Instead, the piece came to me as a plea for better (and probably was a reflection of growing disheartenment about politics).

If I had to describe the article in a single word, it would be dismay. Dismay that this is a part of the world we live in. Dismay, but not without a tiny spark of hope that things can be better.

You can read both in full online at: https://www.deminimis.com.au/home/feeling-inferior and https://www.deminimis.com.au/home/a-more-civil-public-discourse.

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