Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Be the Change You Want to See In the World


My younger daughter is on a gap year away. Next week she begins a preparatory seminar for a trip to the Nazi camps in German occupied Poland. Some may think the trip ghoulish. But the Holocaust is a big part of her heritage. Her late paternal grandparents were survivors. She needs to know and wants to know and perhaps it will also help her make sense of the extraordinary impact such unspeakable events had subconsciously on the family psyche.
It would be easy to become hopelessly depressed about human nature when one begins to comprehend what happened back then and what is still happening in the world. Countries turning their back on Syrian refugees. A man punching a woman in the throat at a football final. A coroner identifying systemic failings of the system that contributed to the horrific murder of Luke Batty by his father. 
But many Australian families immediately offered their homes to refugees. Supporters jumped on the assaulter instantly and wrestled him away from the victim. Editorials in all the papers denounced violence against women and the new government has budgeted millions to try to address this horrific blight on our society and improve safety for families. 
We must remain optimistic. We must see the good as well as the bad. And we must do our bit to help create the world we want to live in.