In a radio interview last week with 5MU in Adelaide, Jennie Lenman asked me if I was optimistic about 2021.
My answer was, “Yes, I am”.
Of course, the pandemic has affected us in different ways, and for some people it’s been a tragedy. COVID-19 has claimed many lives, people have lost their jobs, businesses have shut down, and mental health issues have increased dramatically. And for every person who’s directly affected, there’s a community of family and friends who also feel the impact.
Without diminishing the pain and hardship many people have suffered, I still feel optimistic about our future. Despite occasional COVID-19 outbreaks around the country and friction between States when it comes to borders, Australia has done extremely well in managing the pandemic – both the health crisis and the economic crisis. On a global scale, we’re one of the few large economies to get this under control (In the top 20, only China has done better). The incredible – almost miraculous – success of the vaccine development program will help us and the rest of the world.
As a nation, we have seen amazing resilience and strength in our communities, our colleagues, our families, our friends, and perhaps even in ourselves.
We’re not broken, just bent.
In a recent keynote presentation, I asked the audience to look ahead and choose their theme song for 2021. For example:
- Would it be wistful – like Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time?”
- Or defiant – like Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing”?
- Or perhaps more optimistic, like Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”?
We had some amazing responses, and we had a lot of fun with the idea.
It made me think about MY theme song for next year, and what I might choose for Australia.
In her song, “Just Give Me a Reason”, Pink says, “We’re not broken, just bent” – and I think that applies to so many of us. The pandemic might have bent us, but we’re not broken, and we will rise up stronger than before. If you had to choose a mantra to start the recovery, perhaps this is a good start.
I wish you all the best for a happy Christmas and New Year period. Stay safe and healthy, and I’ll see you in the future.