I mentioned the count and was stunned to hear them say they knew nothing about an election taking place. Moreover they did not seem to care when I expressed regret that the envisaged 'blue wave' had not materialised.
They explained that they did not follow the news, it seems not even on Facebook. I was meeting them for meditation, and implicit in their attitude to me was that I should calm down.
I asked how they informed themselves on how to vote when there's an election in Australia. One explained that he simply trusts and votes for the political party he favours. The other appeared unconcerned.
Earlier in the year, I was attending an event and got into discussion with two other participants. They both thought it was a good thing that Trump had got elected and shaken up the political establishment.
I was shocked but agreed that international politics could benefit from fresh blood, to hasten progress on urgent matters such as climate action. However I remained disturbed by the thought that the world's most powerful leader would leave the world a much more dangerous and less co-operative and gracious place to live when he eventually departed office.
On Wednesday evening I was in a Zoom reflection meeting. I mentioned my discovery earlier in the day that I had friends who appeared not to care about the world. Another participant, who portrayed himself as a fellow 'news junkie', was also carrying the weight of the expectation of another four years of Trump. He understood both my concern and my excess news consumption.
I sometimes joke about being a news junkie. But I do believe that we have to continually inform ourselves if we want a better world. However I have to confess that I too can cover my eyes when the news is too bad to bear. I remember doing this earlier this year when I heard that mining company Rio Tinto had blasted and destroyed the two ancient Aboriginal rock caves at Juukan Gorge in Western Australia.
Such events beg action. But not without the perspective that activities like meditation can bring, when they help to ground and protect us from excess. The paradox is that we have to close our eyes to meditate.