Old School Wisdom #2 – Swagman Pete

Corey: What do you think about the world/life?

Peter: Ahh the world. I think its coming to the cross roads, that we’re in a position now where we either save it, or it dies.

It’s critical that we stop the global warming, and if we don’t then there’s no future really, that I can see. Mmm…

next question, haha.

C: How have your views changed over your life?

P: I was sort of brought up in the hippy era, and ah went through the Vietnam war, and that sort of changed a lot of peoples view about the world I think.

About the corruption of governments, and that you can’t really trust the Australian government.

C: That all changed around that time?

P: Yeah I think it did. It was just a strange brewing, of that you could be conscripted, and that you could be sent home in a box.

We had a really good government education, and uh, then when the Vietnam war came along it was like umm, that’s when I started to mistrust the government, I thought that you couldn’t trust them at all.

All of the history that we learned about Australia wasn’t true really, there are other ways of looking at it.

So that was sort of disappointing in a way.

C: Have you ever experienced something, that was ‘indescribable?

P: Some of the drug experiences, LSD, they were indescribable, pretty amazing, but whether it was real or not, it’s like you start messing around with reality, and you don’t know what’s real and what’s not real.

That was a pretty good experience.

C: What piece of wisdom have you been taught, or have found to be true, that you think should be passed on to the next generation?

P: My father used to say, ‘Don’t believe in homespun philosophies’, that a lot of them aren’t water tight.

That you can have a theory about something, and that it can change, nothing is fool proof.

Yeah, nothings fool proof.

And that your outlook on life can change. There’s no way of having a watertight theory about life.

Its always changing I think.

Don’t listen to homespun philosophies.

C: What’s a homespun philosophy?

P: I think uhh, it can be sort of religious, yeah it’s like truisms, like ‘black’s black’, you can talk about philosophies but, sometimes it’s just a ah… sort of truism.

It doesn’t really mean anything.



C: Do you think anyone knows the truth?

P: Nah I don’t think anyone knows the truth.

C: What do you wanna be when you grow up?

P: When I grow up…. Well I’m already there, haha. I wanted to be a fireman… umm… nah I guess it’s always ongoing isn’t it, it’s ahh, perhaps trying to save the world, its ah, you can’t really do it.

Perhaps, leaving something behind, a legacy I suppose… if you grow a forest, leaving a forest behind, or a nice building, or something behind….

Just to leave the earth with nothing, well that’s a bit sad isn’t it?

C: What’s a question that you would like to be asked?

P: Ahh gee that’s a hard one isn’t it. Gee that’s impossible, haha.

‘is there a future in it?’…. yeah I don’t know.

Its pretty funny when you get close to the end of it, in a way, when your young you think you’re bullet proof and then when you get here you start to think, ‘you know i’m about to leave this world soon’, and uh yeah, it’s hard to know.

It’s hard to know where it’s all going.

Once I knew where I was going and now I don’t, its changing all the time.

C: Is there something to look forward to in old age?

P: Well some people get real bad.

Terrible illness and in pain all the time.

Its uhh, ‘to be or not to be’ isn’t it.

It’s hard to know sometimes.

C: Are you alright?

P: Aww sometimes I get down, but uh I use the negativity to pull me through I think.

Its like you can’t get much lower than this, you can only go up, haha.

Nah, yeah I reckon a lot of people are depressed  these days, but I think it’s depressing times isn’t it.

Its really sad what’s going on.

C: Is there a ray of hope in humanity?

P: Yeah I think humans can do good things.

To leave something behind that will last, like a beautiful tree or something, that’s worth doing.

Some people have done it, you know left beautiful gardens behind, beautiful buildings… and it wasn’t really for them, it was for the next generation.

I think that’s what you wanna look at.

C: That’s definitely the question of my generation, ‘what are we leaving behind?’.

P: That’s a hard one.

Because its all about money these days.

You have to have money to survive and do anything. It’s a real hard one these days.

You need lots of money.

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