*Yes, the title is paraphrased from a quote in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Good guess. I thought it appropriate.
Can you hear the whispers? It’s a movement, a gathering storm of change. While the less-altruistic may dismiss it as simply noise, or try to only do the bare minimum possible, others know better.
The simple, sad photo of “The Boy on the Beach”: Aylan Kurdi, is waking people up. Perhaps in the long run, this collective recognition of the plight, our empathy, will come to nothing. But I dare to dream and hope for better.
Arise from your slumber, oh people! Wake up to the devastation of the world. Then, see that all is not lost or hopeless.
Everything is interconnected. Our inaction, or action, on various fronts (however small or large our contribution) helps sway the balance one way or another. This relates to the current wars, rising conflict between groups at home, distribution of weapons and dropping bombs etc. vs. giving real help…
In short, how we deal with social, economic and environmental pressures, globally and regionally, separately or together, matters.
Here and now, we have to stand up – we have to fight back, with words and ideas. We must say a firm, “No!” to one way and a strong, “YES!” to the other.
More than anything, we have to come together and talk about this. Slogans and pointless politicising just doesn’t cut it.
It’s just common sense.
NO PLACE TO PUT YOUR FEET (1)
It’s something we take for granted isn’t it? That each of us has a country – a place to put our feet – on a planet where 71% of the surface is covered by ocean.
Like having air to breathe, we assume that having somewhere to stand, to walk – is a basic right of existence. Our bodies aren’t exactly ocean-friendly – not for anything longer than a shortish swim in any event. And without a place on this planet to safely put your feet so that you can find shelter, get food, water and continue to breathe air – you die. It’s as simple as that.
In 1959, during the opening of World Refugee Year, Prime Minister Robert Menzies said
“It has not been easy for organised world opinion in the United Nations or elsewhere to act directly in respect of some of the dreadful events which have driven so many people from their own homes and their own fatherland, but at least we can in the most practical fashion show our sympathy for those less fortunate than ourselves who have been the innocent victims of conflicts and upheavals of which in our own land we have been happy enough to know nothing.
It is a good thing that Australia should have earned a reputation for a sensitive understanding of the problems of people in other lands; that we should not come to be regarded as people who are detached from the miseries of the world.”
More later, as there’s an article from The AIMN which deserves to be republished in full.
As I said on Friday and others have said before that, those making these journeys are desperate. They’re not going to be deterred by treacherous seas, barbed wire, guards or other measures. The measures only induce fear and confusion.
We are strong enough to help. If we share the load properly, then it won’t seem so bad. Just the same, though, if some (e.g. Gulf states) refuse to take in many, that doesn’t mean we (Australia, etc.) have an excuse to continue our poor behaviour.
Edmund Burke once said (among numerous other good things): “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
After all, to go back to Dumbledore and Rowling again (but this time the Chamber of Secrets): “It is our choices that define us far more than our abilities.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/03/opinion/australias-brutal-treatment-of-migrants.html?_r=4 ~ That editorial from the New York Times
http://auswakeup.info/refugees/ ~ An interesting website tracking the discrimination and ‘wrecking-ball’ chaos of the Abbott Govt in several areas; this tab focuses on refugees.
https://theconversation.com/asylum-seekers-in-indonesia-why-do-they-get-on-boats-8334 ~ An explanation – again – of why asylum seekers get on boats to Australia instead of staying in Indonesia