When I was growing up now many years ago there were no millionaires in our Australian society. Everyone was struggling to make their pay packet stretch from week to week as their children grew and were taught to respect the environment and the things we had. Recycling was part of it and my grandmother, who had gone through the 1930’s depression, would save every piece of string and paper bag that came her way.
These habits passed down to me and my siblings. We were taught to switch off lights that were not in use, to make our own clothes, do our own repairs, and most of all enjoy what we had and not go after things out of our reach. We learned to be practical and that things like vegetables are better when grown in your own garden than purchased in a shop.
Between the 1960’s and 1970’s a revolution took place. We were not really aware of it for some time but the effect on life and the economy was profound. Suddenly people learned how they could make money aside from working for it. It’s called investing in the future. Real Estate became the key to ownership and words like ‘portfolios’ entered the vocabulary.
Australia still ploughed on sifting through the shock to our ego that this country was not seen as ‘great’ by others. We became conscious of it and asked strangers from overseas what they thought of us. While they mostly had nothing but praise there were things they pointed out that hung like an albatross around our necks.
We were simply behind the times. Late night shopping had not yet arrived, and week-end trading was beyond our comprehension. There was still many things we were not privileged to know as the government kept the lid on things. But when I travelled overseas in 1979 I caught a glimpse of what was coming.
Tiny houses that matched the garage in most Australian homes was all that many had to live in around Naples and they farmed on the land around it that was no bigger than a normal size suburban block back home. In the North in places like Cannes and Monte Carlo homes were suddenly huge and people were rich beyond measure.
The beautiful wine fields in Tuscany and the snobbery of many who looked down on this traveller with her 2 children was very off-putting. Australia was a country when snobbery and wealth brought you no friends while the more money you had the less you were liked. Now it is just the opposite.
Since the turn of the Century and the Olympic Games in Sydney the country has become like those I travelled in overseas. It wealth, money, and celebrity status that now directs one’s popularity as we are in the last days. This is known to me because of my memory of reincarnation and knowledge that everyone is back who has lived before. We are facing the ultimate test and not many are in a position to pass it.