You've probably heard our Land of OZ being referred to as The Lucky Country. It seems as though ever since Donald Horne wrote a book about it, predictions have been that the luck will soon run out and we should prepare for that happening (there's even been a book written about that, too).
The recent biennial review of how Australians live, released by The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, supports the view that our luck could be on the wane: things are not looking rosey. While the reviews paints a picture of families doing their best to provide opportunities for children, the elderly, and disadvantaged groups, there are some scary figures to consider. During 2010-11, for example, the federal, state, and territory governments spent approximately $ 127 billion on welfare. Of that amount, approximately $ 90 billion involved cash-payments and $ 37 billion on seniors-pensions, etc. Increasingly, government pensions and allowances have become the main source of income for 1 in 4 households.
It seems that, despite our individual efforts and that of our elected governments, neither may be enough to avoid a fall into adversity, or being able to climb out of it.
Whether or not you accept the view that our luck is running out, there are some things you can do. The good news is that, in all likelihood, you know what to do: you just have to do it.
One option is to do nothing. Be aware, however, that relying on someone else to look after you and your interests does not have a very good track record for succeeding. (I've looked at this as a half-baked step, hence the topic.)
Another option is to rely on yourself, and certainly not someone else. Despite their best intentions, others are not in the hunt when its you who is the key player. Consider, for example, politicians. With an election looming, politicians can be expected to tell how they care, can be trusted, etc., etc., etc. You know that, after they're elected, you'll never see or hear from them again. It's a far better idea to focus on the one person who you know can count on-YOU.
A third option to save; to keep putting something away for a rainy day. There's plenty of research that shows Australians are not great at saving. We know that we should save: we just do not do it. It's like Usain Bolt recently said to me (toungue-in-cheek, I hope) when he noticed I was a bit slow getting out of the blocks, 'It's never too late to start'.
Living within your means is another option worth considering. Next time you're at the supermarket, test-out your observation skills. Take a look at the shopping trolleys at the checkout. Research tells us that more than 70% of stuff in the trolley are non-essentials for living a longer, better life. What say, you? It could be that reducing your supermarket-spend could be pretty easy.
A final option could be to become passionate about ensuring the luck does not run out: experiencing a bit of pain could just be what's required. The word 'passion' derives from the Latin verb 'pati' meaning 'to suffer'. Apply this deduction to what we're talking about, here and we can conclude that one of the main reasons why people do not do what they know they lack do; they have not yet suffered enough. The theory is that once people become passionate about something, they're likely to act rather than toss-in the towel before the fight even starts. Passion is required in order to ensure that we do what's necessary to get the results we want.
Australia is a lucky country. And, for people who live there, are lucky to be able to call Australia home: it's a great place to live. There's now ways to become even luckier!