Auschwitz to Australia: Are you complaining about the ‘lucky country’? 41



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I want to start this article with a confession. I am 45 and I am the managing director of a successful financial services business. I’m not retired and I don’t know how it feels to be retired yet. That said, I have spent my entire career helping people with financial decisions. I have spoken to and seen great successes and great failures with money. Like everyone, I have experienced the ups and downs of making ends meet. Still, if the truth be told, I am doing OK.

So when I write these articles, I do so with the best of intentions and with the firm knowledge that I am yet to be in your shoes. I don’t know how it feels but I am keen to listen and learn. What I can tell you is that I genuinely care. I am passionate about helping people and offer up my opinions humbly and hope that it can help the community. Anyway, do you think we are lucky?

My dad was fascinated with the Great Wars and aviation. We spent our childhood listening to stories, going to historic airshows and watching war movies. I am sure that Dam Busters was my favourite. Like many people, I became fascinated with understanding the brutality of WWII and in particular the systematic genocide perpetrated at the hands of the Nazis. In 2012 I had the opportunity to travel to Poland and visit Krakow, Auschwitz and Birkenau. This past month marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of this camp.

A great friend of mine suggested that I read a book before the trip in order to gain some perspective. The book was Dr Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. Frankl had survived a number of labour camps including Auschwitz/Birkenau due only to his value to the Nazis as a doctor. Frankl had the very rare experience of observing human nature for an extended period under the absolute worst of conditions; fear and violence, systematic starvation, atrocious sanitary and sleeping conditions and death all around.

When I finished the book I realised I had gained more perspective on life, not just on Auschwitz.

I came home from that trip and everything in Australia looked better than when I had left. Everything.

Frankl’s message was simple and powerful, that a person is not defined by what happens to them but how they choose to respond.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way” – Victor E. Frankl

The book is full of very powerful messages and I would recommend it to anyone.

My point is that when it comes to money and what you have, be it large or small, a little perspective goes a long way. We live in a country of freedom that, at the absolute least, provides for a level of health care and social security for all. Now it may not be perfect, and I’m not suggesting that it is, but if you open your eyes to the world both past and present, I would challenge you to explain to someone how we aren’t the lucky ones.

If you still aren’t happy then ask for help. Australia has many avenues that you can reach out to in order to get financial advice. We are in the job of helping people and we love what we do.

Don’t just sit around waiting to be lucky, make a choice to get lucky. It’s all at your fingertips.

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom” – Victor E. Frankl


Do you feel we are the lucky country? Do have more than you need or are you struggling? Tell us below.

Peter Audet

Peter Audet has made a career in financial services starting in 1988 in Sydney and establishing his advice business in 1995. Varria provides advice to clients right across Australia. At Varria, we believe that when you really understand how money works for you, you unlock the key to being happy and satisfied with it. They call it Wealth Truth.

  1. We really are the lucky country. Sometimes I think that those of us who think we are hard done by because of government policies, should go on a tour in the rest of the world. I have been overseas and have been very thankful to return to my Australia with its perceived faults.

    3 REPLY
    • We don’t live in the rest of the world..we live in Australia. I don’t care what happens anywhere else but I do care what is happening in the country I was born in. You seem a nice lady but honestly you can’t seriously think this LNP Government is going to be re-elected, the people coming here are not even the tip of the iceberg

  2. I’m on my band wagon this morning! Please stop asking ‘do you agree?’. There are a dozen other questions that can be used to elicit comment (and your readers are good at commenting). The answer to your question is either yes or no otherwise.

    1 REPLY
    • I agree with your sentiments. So often the provocative question elicits negative and personally nasty responses, and the headline often reflects little of the content of the following article. I feel this website too often encourages negativity. If I sense that is the tone I tune out. Too much negativity isn’t healthy.

  3. Yes we live in the Lucky country or we did, at the moment many of us feel we are under siege. My concern is not for other countries , my concern is for the country I live in and Australian’s. Get our country with good conditions for all, not just for the rich, then we should go out and help other countries do the same

  4. I agree that we are living in a great country. We have much to be grateful for. But what did Auschwitz and the other camps have to do with money? The basic article was about money/finances so it should not have brought in Auschwitz. That was in bad taste.

  5. I wish all subjects here didn’t become political folks. There is more to life than running down whatever government is in power at the time. Please take some time out and smell the flowers. Life is too short to be negative all of the time.

    1 REPLY
    • Have to agree again with you Morvyth, I have posted before about how much disrespect and hate is posted here from time to time!

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