A letter from New Zealand packs a wallop. From Huskynut at theautomaticearth.com:
This letter is from longtime Automatic Earth reader and commenter “Huskynut” in New Zealand, written for the people in his address book. It may be good therapy for everyone to put all their Covid thoughts and frustrations in writing.
I’ve never done an open letter before – never had something I felt so passionately about as the precipice on which NZ is currently balanced. We’re way beyond any realm of “adults sharing political opinions” and a long way into “a cult just took my country”. I need to send this, yet I fear it will miss the mark, in which case I will have wasted my last shot.
My parents my schooling and several mentors along the way instilled in me a strong moral compass: one that hasn’t changed over time. As a human being I’ve fallen short of the directions of that compass many times, and sometimes even wilfully ignored it, but never was it wrong in pointing due moral North. I thank everyone who has contributed to that fundamental grounding in morality.
My experience has been that genuine morality exists outside of thought and rationality. The urging of our conscience is experienced subjectively and with immediacy, though we may subsequently analyse and understand it. I can dissect and understand why it is objectively wrong to segregate kiwis into Haves and Have Nots on the basis of their vax status, but I don’t have to analyse it to feel and know it’s wrong. It’s wrong simply and immediately because it’s wrong – the justification follows later.
Ours wasn’t a particularly virtuous or political family, but I remember when for a time we took inmates from the local Linton Prison home on day parole to help them adjust to outside life. On seeing my Dad doing the dishes one night, one mentioned he’d never seen a man do the dishes before.
I remember when we came very close to fostering a 14yo girl from a poor start – presumably to also help address the one-sided gender balance of five males to one females – but lost out on the basis of my mother’s Catholic aversion to assisting her to obtain contraception. I remember when the Springbok rugby tour drove a wedge through NZ society how we discussed the evils of the South Africa apartheid regime.