Posted on June 4th, 2008 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

Long-term readers will notice a change on this site in that, as previously mentioned, additional writings will occasionally pop up that don’t relate to my health specifically (or at all). This is in keeping with a mentality change I am trying to make by not dwelling solely on my sickness.

I am a bit confused as to whether this is the right forum though. I am reluctant to use this site as a platform for other topics other than I originally intended. They maybe issues that I dwell on because of my predicament, or they may be topics that I have been pondering for years. I don’t want to write on my health, just for the sake of writing on my health, if that makes sense. I am hoping to write less on my health, to be honest, in light of hoping to have less to write about. Being wary of this, I think I will just see how it goes.

I appreciate others’ insight into issues that are of interest to me, so please continue to feel free to offer your thoughts through commenting.


Boat People

Posted on June 4th, 2008 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

I have a big problem with boat people. They set off on their overcrowded boats, expecting to find refuge and possibly a prosperous new start. They bring their own diseases, beliefs, expectations, weapons and culture and almost force it on the people who rightfully belong to Australia. Often, violence has erupted because they just don’t understand how things operate here, so instead of trying to find out, they will resolve the situation barbarically. The boat people seem to develop their own governance structures in their ‘new land’ and it involves stripping the land’s patriots of their status as human beings, often treating them worse than dogs. Like I say, I have a big problem with boat people.

But that’s enough about British settlers of the 1700’s, who came out on their boats and largely destroyed a significant part of Aboriginal customs, freedom and safety.

The term “Boat People” in Australia today usually refers to people who cram onto unsafe boats as they escape from atrocities in their own countries, seeking any form of safety they can. I have a high regard for these ‘boat people’. To me, they demonstrate many noble aspects of human character that we would rarely be exposed to had they not landed on our shores and become ‘our problem’.

We have it good here in Australia. We have great infrastructure, healthcare, economy and welfare. Often, this is all taken for granted. But I know that some people would have the expectation that other countries should get their act together and develop a similar society. They see ‘boat people’ as second-class citizens who want a free ride at our expense. Now there is a mentality that is worthy of being a problem.

People are often changed when they experience or are educated to the reality that we often term ‘the third world’. I cannot forget sights, smells and the way of life I experienced in my time travelling and it gave me an inkling into the seemingly hopeless situation these people are in. Tyrannical governments, constant exposure to disease, lack of education, lack of healthcare and dangerous living conditions are often the norm for the majority of the world’s inhabitants. It is disastrous that most of us don’t bother actively helping other humans in this situation, but even when these people make it easy for us by arriving on our doorstep, some people can’t wait to see the back of them.

To me, I can’t imagine the risk, trauma and fear involved in deciding to put my family on a boat in order that their lives may be saved. They are human, like us. They love their families and friends, like we do. They feel the pain of having to tear their lives apart to start again. I picture a father, making the painful decision to board a boat with his family, or sometimes seeing them off. They risk being caught by their government, our government and every force of nature in between. For every boat that actually makes it to our shores, we have no idea of how many boats don’t make it. What an incredible act of love. What an incredible demonstration of hope.

These people are doing everything humanly possible to turn their hopeless situation into one where hope exists, and they are willing to risk everything they have in order to pursue it. In our society, I don’t think we understand the full power of hope because we very rarely need to employ it. Even when we do, our hopes are generally based on things we want, rather than things that will give us life.

So when I see the emaciated faces of the fathers, mothers and children arriving on these boats on the news, I see the personification of love, hope and fear. I don’t think I will ever stop being angry when I hear attitudes from some people who consider themselves ‘legitimate Australians’ when they damn other humans to an existence of hopelessness. In support of their ‘legitimacy’ some will proudly claim that they have heritage tracing back to the First Fleet. Congratulations, I say to them; you are the original boat people.



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