In Australia we contemplate what it means to be Australian. For many nations right across the world, there is turmoil and suffering, first nations people versus the "arrivals".
There was a lot of assumptions made and a lot of judgement occuring. Unfortunately, that pattern of thinking still hasnt changed today, not in a way that I could vouch for every single human being on the planet and say yes they care about every single other person on the planet.
But the purpose of this blog, is to have a philosophical discussion. Its to try to think of ways to bridge the misunderstandings that have in some ways grown over time.
If I could just step in to both parties shoes for a minute, the thinking was like this:
The arrivals "We are discoverers who travelled from afar. We see land. We are safe. We have found a place to call home."
Im not sure at what point they discover inhabitants, but im guessing they were already convinced of the beauty of the land that lay before them they chose to battle for the land because war is all they knew.
First nations people "we are being invaded, this is not safe, this is our home, we are no longer safe in our home."
A community of families supporting one another, each family with its own dialect, each community with its own designation of language. Each region had its own identification. From a deep connection to land and country, I begin to imagine "how on earth our first nations people could face a league of men with weapons they had never seen before, being a people at peace and harmony with nature?"
We dont get taught Australian history. Not exactly the way it should be taught. It should be the truth. The whole truth. And nothing but the truth. We cant change history. But we can be the change now and moving in to the future. Its up to us to be the change.
Every single human being has the right to be, do and have. But we have built these frameworks that can widen the gap between privileged and non-privileged.
If you are someone with choice, you are privileged. You may still feel you are not as privileged as the next person but choice and the freedom to choose is my definition to empower me to cause and create change in the world so every child will one day experience the freedom to choose.
On this Australia Day it means to many wide and varying things and maybe just maybe we change the context and meaning of the day. Perhaps we need to commemorate the turmoil and suffering, perhaps its time to acknowledge and recognise the deep loss of the day.
While we (collective now) were not the invaders. You can understand the conflict of celebrating Australia Day, the day "the invaders" landed on Australia as discoverers and declared it theirs.
You can understand the hypocrisy of the way in which we treat refugees that arrive on our shores. Why are we (collective now) so determined to repeat the woes of our already past?
I dont have all the answers. I think a lot about what can be done to bridge culture and understanding.
I believe the key is our children and education. Our children and the next generations when they know their ancestors and can be told the truth. With no bias. They will make their own minds up about the world.
We are all brothers and sisters living on one planet. We have one life, one chance to make the difference we want to make.
Our people, when I say this I want to take ownership for the division, in our country - our people are everyone who lives in Australia right now, have made sacrifices and are suffering. When will we collectively say enough is enough, I take 100% responsibility for the mistakes of our ancestor invaders and also for the suffering of our ancestor first nations people.
Its time to heal our country. Time to take care of one another like never before. Time to listen. Time to be in eachother's worlds and really hear.
Its time for us to figure it out. We are a group of intelligent people who can surely figure this out?
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Hi my name is Angela. I have loved writing since I was able to hold a pencil in my hand. I soon learnt I had a gift of connecting with my ancestors through writing before my 30th birthday.