Tuesday, 26 June 2012

When Did Compassion Die?

Recently another boat full of asylum seekers sank near Christmas Island. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/hopes-fade-in-search-for-asylum-boat-survivors-20120623-20uix.html

It’s a tragedy, a nasty horrible brutal tragedy and it hurts that while both sides of politics argue over the issue, people just keep drowning and parts of the Australian public seem to get nastier and more vicious.

I’ve been fretting on this since it happened and I’ve decided my blog might be a good place to discuss some of the problems this has raised for me. You see, since the boat sinking I’ve realised I know some people with really horrible attitudes. People who don’t see any problem with making public statements on their Facebook walls along the lines of “Why are we spending our money to rescue them? Doesn’t Australia have better things to spend their money on? Why don’t we just leave it up to Indonesia? It’s not our problem.”
It hurts to think that I know folks who would rather let people drown than see our country spend a cent more than they think we absolutely have to. When did compassion die? Where did we lose our heart? I’d like to think that once upon a time Australia did have a heart to lose, but I’m not so na├»ve I don’t realise that at least some of us have always been cruel.

The trouble is though, that once an injustice like this is seen, it can’t be unseen. All one can do is work out how to respond. A person’s facebook wall is their own, surely they can say what they please there? Should I ignore comments like that? Or do I argue against them? How do I argue against them effectively – so that rather than putting down the people making those statements, I’m planting seeds that might help change their minds?

All I really know for sure is that I don’t care how long I’ve known you, if you’re possessed of such a cruel and vicious heart then as much as I pity you,  you are no true friend of mine. You’re just someone I know.

I hope one day I can help you find your heart and change your mind.