Canberra (national capital of Australia) – March in satire. The empathy, or something, flows.

[This post contains material of a satirical nature. International readers should feel free to concentrate on the photos and disregard the sub-text.]

Spat in our eye then unleashed tears they learnt to cry in empathy training.

There is a story here and I am determined to find out what it is. In the public interest.

Hungry currawongs make life difficult for everyone. I see you.

Some might say that it is the circle of life. I say that I need more spiky plants and the horde of currawongs to move along.

I weep.

Parrot beak and feather disease (psittacine circoviral disease) rages through the local parrot population. Control of the disease involves effective diagnosis, monitoring, quarantine and vaccination (in captive bird populations). Vaccination is not feasible for wild parrot populations so habitat preservation is essential to mitigate the risk and protect our threatened parrot species.

[Acceptance of public health messages is high in Australia. Why does our wildlife not deserve the same respect?]

I grieve their suffering and death.

Framing the discussion or thinking outside the box?

A storm is brewing but “try not to get worried, try not to turn on to problems that upset you, oh.”*

Plus some bonus photos for my kind readers.

And another reader bonus – some music to end the month and to validate that everything is alright (*from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar).

Floodwaters have abated in the eastern states of Australia and the hard work to clean up has now begun. My condolences go to families whose loved ones died in the flood waters. In addition, many people did not have flood insurance. An appalling situation that is likely to affect more and more Australians as climate change exacerbates natural disasters. In Canberra, we had heavy rain but minimal flooding. The fury instead rained down on those that could not give straight answers to simple questions regarding processes for dealing with alleged sexual assaults and abusive behaviour by parliamentarians and some of the staff within their offices. In response to the outcry, those unable to either grasp or practise a modicum of human decency have, or will, undertake empathy training.

This is my response to The Changing Seasons – March 2021 photo challenge hosted by the lovely Su at Zimmerbitch.

Think not what you can do for yourselves, ladies and gentlemen, but what you can do for others. That gives you plenty of leeway and a possible pathway to a career in public office.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

*lyric from the musical, Jesus Christ Superstar.

Note: The photos of the turtle orchid and the Roulettes flying in formation were taken by my True Love. On 31 March 2021, the Royal Australian Air Force commemorated 100 years of service with an air show over Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin. All other photos were taken by me. I do have more dead bird photos but I will spare you those.

39 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons – March 2021

    1. Thank you, Lois. I don’t deal well with the circle of life either. I noticed the highly infectious disease several years ago but it is getting much worse in this population of birds unfortunately. A neighbour suggested we euthanase one poor suffering individual but they are a protected species and there are so many suffering that it would not have made a difference.

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  1. One has read much unexpected these last weeks . . . much which I cannot relate to, much which is illogical to me . . . much thus better not talked about: there are enough real problems around us without blowing up other possibilities . . .two words stopped me cold and made me turn away – ’empathy training’ . . . and I am not being satirical just puzzled and sad . . .

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  2. Oh dear how sad for the parrot population Tracy. I hadn’t heard of that terrible disease it seems not only humans are struggling with out of control viruses. For the very first time I put a mask on, I had too or I could not go into the movies or go shopping. I noticed, also for the first time, everyone had masks on in the shopping centre, and we don’t even have any cases on the coast, yet…..😷

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    1. Hopefully that means CPV is not in your area, Pauline. I keep observing my local birds for signs and clean the bird bath if I see one drinking from it.
      Better to be as safe as possible, Pauline. The new covid variants seem to be super fast at spreading. We humans are lucky to be able to take effective preventative measures.

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      1. Not seen any signs of CPV, hope it isn’t here. After the recent Brisbane scare we are all wearing masks for the next 14 days. Oh well it is worth doing if it keeps it under control. Stay safe, have a happy Easter

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      1. I think there are pockets of people in the US trying to protect animal habitats. They are of course hindered by corporations and politicians. New England has land trusts, which help in a small way, but the developers are still razing paradise to put up a parking lot (and storage units and strip malls and convenience stores, etc.).

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    1. Empathy training could be good if you want to make a change but I thought the idea was that if you don’t have empathy, you don’t care? So yeah, I’m struggling too, Su. I know I struggle to change anything about myself so it would be a full time job for me to work on myself. I don’t think these sort of problems can be fixed by a short course.

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      1. Exactly! I remember, years ago, reading research about how difficult it is for most of us to actually change our behaviour after courses. Once we return to our “usual” physical, emotional, cognitive landscape — we revert to our old ways. I’m not saying that courses are without value, or that people don’t change — I’m just (like you) thinking that empathy training sounds like a good money spinner for the people teaching it.

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    1. Thank you, Margaret.
      I think it is a snow job myself. I think I first heard about this type of short course training when a government official was trying to sell the idea of water reform and he was completely blasted by stakeholder groups. So it was thought he should go have this training. In other words, it was about improving the sales pitch and the concept has sort of morphed and expanded since then. But don’t quote me on that. My memory is not as good as it once was.

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  3. ‘’Empathy training” is a topic of discussion in the Canadian Parliament. Should judges be compelled to take empathy training? This seems like a “no brainer” to me. I’ll spare you the details of what a judge said from the bench in a sexual assault case. It seems some folks lack the vocabulary to express empathy! One university offering advice to MBA candidates on how to become more empathetic suggested reading “fiction.” Seems counter intuitive but novels often contain discussions of grief, loss and suffering. Highlights the value of the arts to encultate compassion.

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    1. Training of some description is needed. Some judges apparently equate empathy with prejudice. I imagine that there are quite a few judges and barristers that have come from very privileged conservative backgrounds, and may never have been bullied or assaulted. They are probably more likely to have sexist attitudes as women are still under-represented in the judiciary. Plus there is systemic bias in the legal system (at least there is in Australia). Bri Lee wrote a good book, “Eggshell Skull” on this very matter. I haven’t read this book but my husband has.
      In Australia, this power privilege is reinforced by exempting statutory office holders like judges and parliamentarians from the Sex Discrimination Act that applies to workplaces. In response to allegations of sexual harassment against a former High Court judge, current Chief Justice, Susan Kiefel commissioned an independent investigation. Following the investigation which upheld the allegations, changes to complaint processes were made.
      The fiction idea is a novel idea so long as it doesn’t stop there. Funny you mention the arts, the current government recently made it more expensive to study humanities and arts subjects at university! They are small minded lot that are currently in power.

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  4. A moving series of images, Tracy.
    I spout Circle of Life to my children but I can’t say I am very good at it (I can’t even keep pet fish because I am too distressed at their demise) so I feel for the plight of the poor parrot and others like it.

    Haven’t listened to Jesus Christ Superstar in a while (used to sing along to all the songs when it first came out) – thank you for this blast to the past!

    And that SkyWhale balloon – incredible! It must have been quite a sight!

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  5. I do enjoy your photos Tracy. Those first two are absolutely mesmerizing, But oh the poor parrots, I weep with you. Not to be a further downer, but, as I am sure you are aware the health of bird populations is an indicator of overall climate health for an area.

    We are in a massive salmonella outbreak spreading across the bird populations here. When you see how far spread the problems are across all continents I struggle to find hope and a viable outcome that can outpace the destruction.

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    1. Yep, the knowledge weighs heavily in our family. The environment does not appear to be a focus of our governments, which is crazy since what is good for wildlife and flora is also good for us.
      Is it a new form of salmonella, Natalie? I hear that there are emerging antibiotic resistant forms. Of course, like our parrots, it is not feasible to treat wild birds. It is too easy to imagine the impact of the combined forces of these and other infectious diseases.

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