I came to Australia to study with the Aboriginal people.
What I learned was a shameful history that had been swept under the carpet. Young non indigenous students would leave our lecture theatre weeping, they had not been taught this history at school.
According to shame and vulnerability researcher Brené Brown, shame thrives on secrecy and silence.
As a well respected journalist, Stan Grant has vocalised what has been said time and time again, but this time he personalised it, he told his story.
The antidote to shame is empathy. There is no doubt that the men who acted so barbarically towards the Aboriginal people had also been dispossessed from their own country. They were following orders, just like many military personnel continue to do in wars. We need to stop legalising murder as a way of controlling our invested interests.
In his book War and Soul, psychologist Edward Tick talks of the moral ambiguity that reeks havoc on the souls of the returning veterans. “ In order to kill, one must invert one’s sense of good and evil. The impulse for destruction replaces the impulse for creativity”.
I believe we need to conform less and independently create/think more.
According to educator John Taylor Gator, “ Mass education cannot work to produce a fair society because it’s daily practice is rigged in competition, suppression and intimidation. The schools we’ve allowed to develop can’t work to teach non material values, the values of which give meaning to everyone’s life, rich or poor, because the structure of schooling is held together by the Byzantine tapestry of reward and threat, of carrots and sticks. Official favour, grades, or other trinkets of subordination have no connection with education; they are the paraphernalia of servitude, not of freedom.”
With awareness we can change. I see changes happening in our education system that are heartening, but I also know there is much dead wood to prune.
Share your story, own it with pride, let it educate others so that we can better understand each other.