Two Ply in the Tempest


Jeremiah 14:12

“When they fast, I am not going to listen to their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I am not going to accept them. Rather I am going to make an end of them by the sword, famine and pestilence.”


Interesting times!


It started with drought. It swept across the land and sucked the rivers dry. Then the drought became fires; horrendous, destructive burning of people and the land. After the fires the rains came, but they weren’t gentle and soothing. They were a deluge. Soil devoid of trees could not hold on. It was swept into the torrents and washed into the sea taking the goodness with it. Lastly the plague of a virus was unleashed on the people. They hid in their homes and cowered under sheets for fear of breathing in the deadly curse.


When I think about the last six months in Australia, I feel like dressing in a long white gown, growing a flowing grey beard, and taking up a shepherd’s staff in my left hand. This is biblical stuff of biblical proportions. It’s almost as if decades of easy, peaceful, prosperous living (for most of the country) have been cast aside with a fury that’s caught us off guard.


But perhaps out of hardship a good might come?


Perhaps we will learn to slow down and perhaps we will like the slower version of our lives?


Perhaps we’ll see the stupidity of hoarding in a land of plenty when we open our pantries and get clocked on the head by falling baked bean cans?


Perhaps we will realise that we can live with less? Perhaps we will come to see the gouging advertising that masquerades as a social good, for what it really is: unadulterated greed.


Perhaps our leaders will see the fruits of working together?


Perhaps the absurdity of social media will be unmasked? The folly, the emptiness of it all. Toilet paper does not get made in the cloud.


Perhaps we will understand that giving a roll of toilet paper to our neighbour is a gesture that could have profound effects?


Perhaps we will truly value our aged and vulnerable?


Perhaps we will become less demanding?


Perhaps we will understand that the aisles of food and goods in our supermarkets are only there through the hard work of others?


Perhaps we will take less?


Perhaps we will give more?


Perhaps the elite sports will get knocked off their perches? Perhaps they need to get knocked off their perches? Perhaps they will learn humility?


Perhaps we will all learn humility?


Perhaps we will enjoy the new peace around sporting events? The screeching music and mindless yelling will surely cease?


Perhaps we will learn the difference between a right and a want?


Perhaps we will hug our children for a bit longer at night because we have no need to rush off to footy training or flute lessons?


Perhaps we will look at the sky more often and not our navels?




Perhaps we all need to look into the giant mirror that has been placed before us?


Do we like what we see?


I’m working on it.


“And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts, and I looked and behold: a pale horse. And his name, that sat upon him, was Death. And hell followed with him.” Johnny Cash – ‘The Man Comes Around’.




Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


About Damian O'Donnell

I'm passionate about breathing. And you should always chase your passions. If I read one more thing about what defines leadership I think I'll go crazy. Go Cats.


  1. A set of excellent questions, Dips! In the spirit of your offering, let’s pray that the masses can come up with some respectful and sensitive responses in these challenging days. As you point out so well, there are so many good things that we just might be able to learn from the experience if we’re willing to think and act accordingly.

  2. Dennis Gedling says

    Thank you for this Dips. Have been trying to formulate questions like this in my head all week.

    It is a chance for people to take stock and perhaps slow down a little. To kind of see the folly in social media, work place politics et al. I’m kind of looking forward some of the aspects of it that will be forced upon for hopefully a small time.

    It’s a constant barrage in recent times and some of us burn out.

    Perhaps this will be over sooner rather than later. Let’s hope so.

  3. “The depression we had to have”? Tough times for us old folks with health concerns. But it feels tougher for younger people trying to make their way in the world and hold businesses/careers together.
    Doubt we will be kinder/wiser/gentler when the crisis abates. The Great War followed by Spanish Flu epidemic gave way to the personal and financial excesses of the Roaring 20′. “If we’re treading on thin ice then we might as well dance”. That gave way to the Great Depression and WW2.
    Times change. Human nature doesn’t.

  4. Luke Reynolds says

    So much to play out before these questions can be answered. I like where you hope we may end up. Life slowing down could be a fantastic thing. Perhaps.

  5. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Great stuff, Dips.

    Much to ponder and reflect on in these ‘uncertain’ and ‘unprecedented’ times (Over those words)

    We may have to live like ‘Commies’ for a year or so. My old man will be turning in his grave.

    One of Syrian students put things into perspective for me yesterday, after another unsuccessful attempt to find toilet paper for her family.
    Her exact words:

    “Teacher, I thought Australia was rich country. ISIS was bad, but we had toilet paper.”

    Makes you wonder how spoilt many of us are in this great Southern Land.

  6. Daryl Schramm says

    Great source of pondering sir. I hope PB is wrong in his response but concerned he might not be. Be well all.

  7. Dips,
    I am certain that the world will be a very different place once Covid-19 has washed through.
    But in what way will it be different?
    Perhaps, more gentle. Perhaps, more fearful. Perhaps, more xenophobic. Perhaps, more understanding.
    Perhaps. Perhaps not.

  8. Thanks Dips.

    So much in this.

    The powerful have been so good at disseminating the ideas which have kept them powerful, and the masses pedalling like poop to keep them there. Dissent has been shouted down, and even silenced.

    The paradox is that this has occurred while unis and schools have believed they’ve been training students to have critical minds. There’s much critique to occur around this issue – and not just over a beer at the NFA.

    In time of crisis, the house of cards comes crashing down. And suddenly different paradigms have to be considered, and inevitably have currency. Just to get out of the mess.

    And, while these are questions for now, al energies must go to dealing with the health crisis as best we can. ‘We’ being the global ‘we’.

  9. Dips so many questions so few answers,I admit I have got angry at people thinking there’s nothing in this the old aussie adage it will be alright mate grrrrrr. While none of us know how or when this will finish up
    I reckon there’s a huge chance what ever footy there is will see people purely playing for the love of the game that for mine is a huge positive

  10. Paul Spinks says

    Good one, Dips:
    My silver-lining hope is that the excesses of free-market ideology will be put into isolation.
    But, this was kinda promised during the GFC to little avail, though different circumstances now.
    In the end, it’s up to the people to put the screws of change on government while they have the chance.

Leave a Comment