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Opinion

2022 – the year of decisions

Saturday 8 January 2022 | Written by Thomas Tarurongo Wynne | Published in Opinion

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2022 – the year of decisions
Earlier this month, Mary Strickland (left) and Elisabeth Tetauru from the MFEM - RMD office attended the R.A.T training sessions for Covid-19 in preparation for the opening of the borders. PHOTO: SUPPLIED/22010601

The content of our character is a choice, and day by day we make choices some good some not so good, because choice is the core of what it is to be human, but let us also be clear our choices will always have an effect on others.

We are less than a week now before the decision to open our beautiful country up to the world and this choice by government will bring hundreds if not thousands of eager New Zealand tourists into our country. This choice by government, like governments all around the world, is based on what they would consider best advice, and carefully weighing up the balance of a country’s need for wealth, and a country’s need for the health of its local population. It is for these reasons that I have a healthy respect and scepticism of government, mainstream media and multinational pharmaceutical companies.

This decision on health and wealth is a choice that affects us all, as there is not a man, woman or child who isn’t affected when this choice goes well or when it does not. Tourists operators are affected, builders are affected, economies are affected and ultimately our countries ability to pay its own way and sovereignty is affected as well as the health of its citizen. 

Similarly, when the health of a country is challenged and sometimes unpopular choices need to be made people are affected. The sovereignty of people’s right to choose over their body is affected as is the idea that we must choose to trust, follow and action a governments choice or choose to say no.

Either way, 2021 was a year of decisions and choices, and when these are made, they divide us because that’s what decisions and choices do. Life is the sum of all our choices, and those that others made for us when we were too young to choose for ourselves. 

The content of our character is a choice, and day by day we make choices some good some not so good, because choice is the core of what it is to be human, but let us also be clear our choices will always have an effect on others. We do not make choices alone or in isolation.

It is the choices that we make that have become so much more critical especially when a global pandemic, if you choose to believe that’s what it is, which by the way I do, rages across the plant and has caused us to move from the life we lived to this new normal. We lived seemingly free from interconnected choices to now being confronted by deep and interconnected choices on our health and our wealth. 

Because 2021 was the year of confrontation – a confrontation of not only the choices we had to make but also how that affected my neighbour, my friend, my colleague and my family. Confronted about issues like trust, information, misinformation, science, our trust in government or not and our faith. Ultimately within us all we have been confronted by what we believe, in who and what we build our lives upon.

It’s only January and yet we continue being confronted as more than 90 per cent of our population and the population in New Zealand chooses to be vaccinated, as Australia wrestles with more than 47,000 new Covid-19 cases. Many friends of mine and family report now having Covid-19 and most, though not all are double vaccinated, so the chances of them being ventilated and hospitalised is heavily reduced because that is the consequence of the choice they made, to be vaccinated. Heavily vaccinated populations like the Cook Islands must also prepare for the same, as Australia’s health system is pushed beyond its limits with this latest outbreak, as our own health system readies and prepares as best as it can with the human and fiscal resource government has made available to it.

2022 like 2021 is the year of decisions and we will continue to be confronted by them. The core of who and what we believe is the seed bed of our decision making because who and what we believe and rest upon determines the way we see the world, how we see ourselves in it and our connection to our fellow man. 

I know in whom I put my trust, and to whom is my refuge and strength and like many of you, we pray for our government and our leaders as they make critical decisions that affect us all as borders begin to open again. 

Your decision and mine are deeply connected, they actually always have been, and why I absolutely support your sacred space to make your own decisions, balanced with the solemn responsibility we have to each other. 2022 will continue to be a year of critical and deeply interconnected decisions, choose then as Joshua declared to Israel, whom and what you will serve. We are all depending on it.