Sunday, July 18, 2010

Learning from the Great Down-Under

I spent many months in Sydney and I think we could learn a thing or two from our across the pond mates. I have to admit that saying I know Australia by living in Sydney is like saying you know the United State by living in New York.

Fair enough I guess, but here it goes.

Australian don't particularly have any fondness for guns. The people who live in rural area have a gun - but it's only out of need. I never met an Aussie who was a gun collector, nor have I ever seen someone armed.
All Australian are required to vote. If you don't vote you're fined by the government. Voting is a requirement

Australia has one of the best health care systems in the world. It's completely universal, meaning that everything from doctors to hospitals is run by the government. I spent some time in a Sydney hospital and the doctors were top notch.

Most Australians I meant were religious and regularly attended church. However, unlike Americans and an Australian would never judge or tell anyone how to worship. It would be the height of bad manners.
The government encourages people to exercise and have a healthy lifestyle. That's why their average lifespan is 82.6 years and our is 77.8 years. There have excellent parks and recreational facilities. They also have some of the best beaches in the world.

Australia honors their veterans. Not only do they have full health care, but there are support facilities and clubs call RSL's.

Most Australians care about the environment. Most believe in global warming. As a matter of fact, most Australians except science as a means of understanding the world.

Australians live and buy local. Sydney which is a large and beautiful city has many local markets and pubs. There are malls and I've purchased and excellent wool jacket at a Target. However, after work many Australians walk to a local pub or shop at a small local market.

Which brings me to the last point. Australians know how to relax. Most businesses give 20 days off plus another 11 (public holidays) off. For a total of 31 days. In the United States you're lucky to get 14 days off.
Now I love the United States and there are some things about Australia that really get on my nerves .. won't discuss them here. That aside, we could really learn from the Aussies. You don't see them protesting in the public parks - with signs that say "Stop Sosalism" (I know Socialism is misspelled) 


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