These have been hard days in a hard world, haven’t they?
They favour hard people who wear masks and helmets, carry clubs, and lock their purses.
We had hoped that the Referendum on the Indigenous Voice would be a celebration of peace and reconciliation, a gentling of the community. Instead, it was a bitter time with the bitter fruit of rancour and division.
We had hoped that the war in Ukraine with its daily news of bombing, shelling, and people dead or made homeless would soon end. Then came the hard men killing and snatching hostages in Israel, and bombing civilians in Gaza. In the face of such hard news, it is difficult not to harden ourselves, shut out the world, and bolt closed the gates of our castle. We are tempted to withdraw into ourselves.
And yet we do not do this. We allow the suffering and anger of our Indigenous brothers and sisters to reproach us and to touch our own hearts. We imagine the outrage and terror of people fleeing from men with guns, the distress of cowering under a rain of bombs in a block of flats, and the despair when hearing helplessly the crying of children calling out for water that we are prevented from giving them.