Us, Them and the Others

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The Others

So every now and then I get a touch of the serious bug…

I always feel lucky never to have had anything bad happen to me.. Sure things have happened to others around me, close to me that has impacted my life but never directly to me.

I have dodged any illness, death, disaster, poverty and live on the line of nothing extraordinary and nothing tragic.  Stuck safely in the middle and I’m certain the Guru may say that by writing these words I will jinx myself but sometimes I get confused by life and have to get this pent up angst out.

For me there are some things where there is no middle just the obvious.  There’s good and bad, fair and unfair , black and white and I find it hard to understand how anyone can see grey areas in certain situations.  Obvious,  apparent, evident  and nothing in between, above or below.

However there are still people who argue for a cause and make judgment on what should be obvious, apparent, evident to be as it is… good or bad, fair or unfair, tragic or victorious.

Here’s a list I compiled of things that should just be seen for what they are.

Boat People

A little innocent boy washed ashore dead trying to escape persecution.

There, obvious yes.  No arguments?

However some people who are against assisting boat people, people who will still have opinions such as this.

  • Boat people are coming into our country and will probably end up terrorists.
  • If boat people are rich enough to pay for the trip they should pay through the legal channels and go through the right process to immigrate.
  • ‘White’ immigrants like British backpackers working or others that look like us should be able to gain citizenship because they speak english and the transition would be easier for us all.
  • They are queue hopping.
  • They want to sponge of our system.
  • They should wait their turn, things can’t be that bad and if they loved their country they should stay there and fight for it..
  • Our systems are already strained and taking in these people will add to that. (Translation:  best let them die or rot elsewhere)

others

BTW… a little boy washed ashore.  DEAD.  His parents were so fearful for his life for their lives they decided to risk the obvious danger because a small chance of survival would be better than the agonising fear they lived with each day. His mother and brother also died.

I don’t believe he is the face of terrorism, I wish he was here putting a strain our system and tell us one day of his mighty journey to escape the danger of his country… or wherever his family hoped they would end up.

I understand that we can’t take all of ‘them, those others’ but this is all about the attitude of those who disregard the human rights and forget that these refuges are actually people not just a story in a newspaper.

The Homeless

I cannot imagine what it would be like to live on the streets  let alone living on the streets in the middle of winter.

I freeze withough my electric blanket and pump the heater up despite the high cost.

However…

There are some who think this of homeless people:

  • They are just scum who should get a job.
  • Why would they ‘choose’ to live on the streets?
  • Don’t they have a home to go to?
  • I don’t want their begging directed at me. It’s embarrassing when I don’t have change and makes me feel uncomfortable.
  • If I give them anything they’ll expect it the next time.
  • Don’t make eye contact.

Wow… I don’t think anyone would choose to be homeless.

I get sad not knowing their stories, not being able to help them more than a coin here or there.  I try to explain to my son that not everyone has a home to go to and we talk about how lucky we are to have a house and warm clothes.

Be it a series of unfortunate events that lead them there, drugs or mental illness I pray for them and admire all those awesome volunteers who run soup kitchens and homeless shelters.  I hope one day to do more.

Racism

others

I loved that my little boy came home one day and asked why a little boy at his school had chocolate skin and wanted me to paint him because he thought it was cool.   I said it’s just like mummy has brown eyes and daddy has green and that we are all a little different whether it be tall, short, male, female, blonde hair or brown just as some people are rich or poor but ultimately we are all exactly alike because we all people and should love exactly who we are.

No argument??

But there are those who feel

  • White or the same as them makes them feel more comfortable.
  • White is superior.
  • Anyone who looks different must mean trouble.
  • The culture behind a race is full of stereotypical connotations and the negatives to these are stronger than the positives in a racist person’s mind.
  • We don’t want all these ‘different’ people in our county.
  • The mix of race and religions is destined to end in disaster.

What I don’t understand is in a country such as Australia, where we all are from somewhere……

It’s like living in a small town.  Until you have been there five generations you’re not a local. Well none of us are locals except for the indigenous Australians so maybe there is a black and white. There are them, the blacks that were here first then all of us whites and multi colored who claim we own the country and have the intelligence and right to reject others.

Luckily I’m here as my grandparents are Italian, so please don’t send me back…… Although I have heard it is beautiful there.  Micko the Guru’s mum is English, please don’t send him back either.

Whew!! I’m getting puffed venting here….

Druggies

I can picture the scenario.  A man/woman as a child says.. I want to be a munged out druggo living on the streets when I grow up..I want to lose my teeth and scratch holes in my skin.  I want to steal off those I love and possibly harm and kill.. I will leave my kids in foster care because I am having the time of my life on ice.  I can’t wait.

The truth.  We all addicts of sorts… Be it our routine coffee, jog, smoothie, chocolate, coke, sugar, adrenaline,

Here’s a few assumptions about druggies:

  • It’s a choice..
  • Let them rot.
  • They are all scum and of a certain type.
  • If they really wanted to give up they could.
  • They must come from a scumbag family.
  • Cut off their money and that will stop them.
  • It’s their own fault for even starting drugs.
  • It would never happen in my family.

I hope this will never happen in my family but face reality that someone will face the battle.  Pills, Ice, dope are everywhere.  In one bad moment, one tragic event, in weakness, in adventure, in temptation, in desperation, it could happen.

 

Gay Marriage.

Simple really.   Just let them get married already.  It’s about love and I can’t believe that I read this week that they have just changed the law in Victoria for those charged with consensual gay sex, that they can now have historic convictions removed.  WADDA!!!

How absolutely heartbreaking to think that being gay was once a crime and many were charged.  They have had to live with these convictions which could have possibly impacted their lives in ways of employment and judgments from those who base their life around what is law.

others

However…..

There are people who think:  (In regard to gay marriage)

  • It is against their religion. (OK.. Although I don’t understand this, I can almost respect their belief but take the religion argument out of it….)
  • It’s unnatural. (Wadda)
  • If we allow gay marriage then the Muslims will want the law changed to allow them to marry three wives.
  • If we allow gay marriage we may have to eventually allow polygamy outside of religious beliefs.
  • If we allow gay marriage it may lead to cross marriages of man and robot.
  • If we allow gay marriage it could lead to mixed marriage of man and animal. (sheep, cow etc)

I kid you not these are some of the lame, ridiculous arguments I have heard.

I sometimes wonder if I am in a bizarro world and hope I wake up as I ponder how am I going to raise my child with the qualities of empathy, understanding, embracing diversity, equality and happiness when there are so many unwarranted variants among us.

I will make these things black and white to him because they will seem like no big deal.. a no brainer when it comes to seeing people as people not immigrants, disabled, gay, old, druggies and so on and so on and so on….. hopefully no more labels will be made.

Peace and OMG I pray for that little boy washed ashore and all the small minded people.

Tamzen Temple

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12 Comments
  • Cheryl @blissandmayhem
    September 6, 2015

    I was just talking about some of these issues over dinner tonight. Its a bit like bringing up religious views with a group of people, they say not to as everyone has such a different opinion. But. I do think that talking about these issues creates momentum for change. A my golly the world that we are living in at the moment needs change.

    • Tamzen Temple
      September 6, 2015

      Yes. It needs to change and it also needs many to change their thinking away from labeling ‘them’ as others. xoxoxox

  • Natalie @ our parallel connection
    September 6, 2015

    What a powerful post Tam. There are many assumptions and you have covered most of them but people need to move from being scared and open their hearts / minds to a better world

    • Tamzen Temple
      September 6, 2015

      An open heart and empathy is totes what is needed with the world at the moment. Thanks Nat. xo

  • Vicki @ Knocked Up and Abroad
    September 7, 2015

    Great post. These are all huge societal issues right now here? I’m so sad to see a life gone but pleased that little boys life won’t be wasted as he becomes the face of this war and desperation. People around the world needed to see this. It is reality and it’s harsh and unforgiving. I’m so pleased parts of Europe are opening their doors and doing the humane thing. I can only hope Australia is ashamed and follows in tow.

    • Tamzen Temple
      September 7, 2015

      THanks. I think it’s a sad state that it takes the image of a small boy to make people realise there are people involved… I hope Australia welcomes more too.

  • Rebel
    September 8, 2015

    Yes. Yes, yes again and all of the yes.

    Brilliant post x

  • Sam Gould
    September 9, 2015

    Great Post and so well written, real serious topics and I totally agree with your viewpoint. My Hubby used to be homeless as a child, and I have my younger sis and bro with drug problems, there is always more to a story than what the eyes see. xx

    • Tamzen Temple
      September 9, 2015

      It is an unpredictable world and sometimes unfair. Thanks Sam and thanks for the share. xx

  • Karyn Jane
    September 16, 2015

    Fantastic post – and I think the title sums everything up so well. When people start to view groups of fellow humans as “the others” it puts a divide between us, and across that divide it’s hard to see all the similarities we do have. It’s very easy to make assumptions and build up a culture of fear around what is unfamiliar when you allow yourself to dehumanise people.

    • Tamzen Temple
      September 16, 2015

      We are all the same, we’re all from somewhere and none of us can say for certain where we’ll end up. xx

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