That was a motto of one of my teachers in life. One interpretation is respecting and acknowledging the past, as we push forward to create the new world that the future holds. And when possible, addressing and correcting it. As I have said many times, in different ways, the future depends on all of us silly humans finding a way to live together and work cooperatively to make a better world.
A step is being taken in that direction now.
It may seem small, in light of everything else we are going through, but I think it, and all efforts like it…. is vital to walking forward in the right way..
It is difficult to convey the deep emotion many Australians feel about the apology that is to be made to those indigenous Australians now known as the Stolen Generations, this Wednesday at 9am, as the first act of the newly elected Australian parliament. The national excitement around the event is palpable, with thousands heading to Canberra for it, and public screens being erected in most major cities for the live, national broadcast of the event.
Newly elected prime minister Kevin Rudd spent time last weekend with a Stolen Generation survivor, listening to her story. He has pointedly negotiated the wording of the apology with indigenous leaders
In the late 19th century the theory that the Aborigines were an inferior race that was doomed to die out became accepted as fact. But such faux science was threatened by the increasing number of children of mixed descent who, unaware of their superior bloodlines, took on indigenous ways and values. To wash the blackness out, a prejudice was raised to the level of a supposedly compassionate act and became known as the policy of assimilation.
In its name it is officially estimated that, over the course of the last century, over a hundred thousand indigenous children were taken from their families and tribes – often forcibly – and raised in institutions and foster families where they would pointedly not be allowed their language or culture. These children were the Stolen Generations. How many lives – of both those taken and those left – were blighted and destroyed will never be known.
Walking backwards into the future, healing the past in order to create a new world where the wounds of the old do not fester. Good stuff, much needed. I wrote an essayabout my perception of history in regards to this issue. We cannot erase history and all the wrongs that have been done to our brothers and sisters, our fellow humans…our ancestors…but we can do what we can to acknowledge the wounds and wrongs and try our best to heal them.
Good on you, Australia. Good on you, Human Race, keep up the good work!!