I want to start something.
I heard something at church yesterday and while I didn’t like it, I agreed with it.
We have become a mean nation.
At some point in our history, we started developing social policy that didn’t affirm the innate value in all people. When this was, I’m not quite sure. Realistically, it has probably gone on longer than I realise and has only now reached a point where I am willing to do something about it. This says more about my lethargy than anything else. A quick chat with any of my indigenous brothers or sisters will let me know that we have been mean for a long time.
Our mean-ness isn’t a new thing.
But at the same time we are also a nation that does amazing things. We (sometimes) provide aid when needed, we (sometimes) defend the innocent, we are loyal allies and fight on the side of good. It confuses me that as Australian’s we can be awesome, compassionate, loving, and even heroic while still being mean to people who need our help the most.
So I feel the need to start something.
I have been among the majority that stands idly by as our government makes inhumane decisions on my behalf. My silence has been tacit support. Sure at dinner parties or over coffee I will make my protest at the inhumane treatment of refugees, but what good does that do? It’s extremely indulgent to say these things. It achieves nothing while making me sound noble and caring. But what does it achieve?
To be honest, I am completely torn by all this.
Every week I talk with friends that are currently deployed overseas or have been on overseas deployment. These men and women fight for freedom on behalf of those that are persecuted and unable to defend themselves or their loved ones. That makes me proud to be an Australian. Only a few generations ago brave men and women travelled half way around the world to fight tyranny and injustice. We called them ANZAC’s, and they one of the most noble demonstrations of who we are as a nation. We did things because it was the right thing to do.
Then I go to church and hear my friend talk about the work she has done in third world nations. Her organisation provides shelter and infrastructure to people devastated by natural disasters. Now she is putting it all back on the line to fight for justice in another country. She is amazing, and I am in awe of her.
This is what I like to think about our nation: Great people who do the right thing no matter what the cost.
So it’s tempting to avoid listening to the reports of how children are being treated by OUR government IN MY NAME. It doesn’t gel with the way I want to see our nation. I have stood by and allowed this to happen.
I must do something.
I must start somewhere.
The Bible says that God created man in His image. That means all humankind bear the image of God.
And when God looked at what He created, He said IT IS GOOD.
And for that reason alone, I will do something.
Today, I am on my way to my first ever protest. I will go to Julie Bishop’s office and be counted with many others who do not believe it is right to treat refugees the way we have been. Will this change anything? Probably not. NSSot yet. I don’t know where this will lead or what will happen next. I just know that I can’t be silent one second longer.
It’s time to start something.
I’ll let you know in a few days what happens next.