Isolation and Disengagement Breeds Resentment and Hatred
Have you ever been stopped in your tracks By an event that shocked you to your core?
I am sure you have.
This manifesto is my take on the decline of civilization as we have grown to believe it to be.
Our journey into a social structure that reflects our social decline
Our ‘De-volution’ as it were
And Loss of humanity.
Our society is broken and our humanity hangs in the balance.
Crumble and fall
We are faced more and more each day with evidence that our civilisation is crumbling down around us, like a great Mayan temple disintegrating through neglect and the advancement of marauding vegetation.
We go about our business with an air of contempt for those who would lend a hand to the demise of our comfortable way of life. We live in a bubble of denial, with our heads well and truly buried in the sand.
While the world we hope to leave to our children, and their children crumbles, disintegrates and erodes away.
All the while we make assumptions that someone else will make this all go away and we will mysteriously recover back to a peaceful congenial global society.
With all this denial going on it is easy to see why our communities are becoming fractured. Why our youth are turning to radical ideology to feel contributative.
For many years multiculturalism has been the cornerstone for building our communities, with the many diverse skills and qualities that a broad mix of people bring with them melding together to form strong social hybrid vigour.
However, through the various tensions within our global community we find ourselves becoming more and more fractured and factionalized.
This factionalization does nothing but breed a sense of distrust and resentment toward those on ‘the outside’. Further drawing our minority sectors back into themselves.
This withdrawal from mainstream society only enhances the sense of isolation and is the perfect breeding ground for dissent, eventually broiling over with eruptions of violent protests and unthinkable acts of criminal vengeance.
In Australia and across the many multicultural communities of the world, our way of life is dependent on our being able to live harmoniously with our fellow community members.
We are by no means expected to love every single person we know or don’t know but we should pride ourselves in an ability to accept other people for the individuals that they are not just what they bring to the table.
This utopian concept has been, for many years now, our standard way of getting on in Australia. We have had a few issues along the way.
That is to be expected.
I know early migrants had a tough time of it. And certainly our First Australian Indigenous peoples have regrettably struggled since the day we landed.
But overall, we have lived in relative harmony.
And after all, where would we be without the amazing culinary contributions of these people.
We pride ourselves, as a nation, as a place where people can come and be accepted.
Our national anthem tells us so;
“…For those who travel ‘cross the seas we’ve boundless plains to share, with courage let our hearts unite…” ∾Peter Dodds McCormick
Acceptance of others, of their religion, their race and their culture is what Australia purports as a fundamental principle that underpins our constitution.
Yet our migrant groups are no longer experiencing this inclusiveness.
They are facing more and more bigotry as time passes. And we are watching with our heads in the sand as the divide between us grows ever wider.
We have entered the age of dystopia.
Constitutional inclusivity & Solidarity We perpetually ask people to integrate into our social design, yet we do not allow them the emotionally safe environment to do so. So the divide grows. No side trusting the other or willing to make the compromise.
As people of a global community and people of local communities we need to stand together and support one another.
This support must come in a number of ways, not least of all from neighbour to neighbour relationship building.
How many of us know the names of our next door neighbours?
How many of us know the names of our neighbours 3 doors down?
How about a block away?
I know I only know the names of the neighbours directly around me and across the road.
Beyond that, I know faces and wave courteously but, not names.
And certainly I know absolutely nothing about their lives.
I ‘know of’ one lady a block away who has been dealing with cancer and seems to have beaten it.
I know this because I used to see her walking her dog and she had the stereotypical head adornment that usually goes along with hair loss from chemo.
I also believe her to be recovering as she has been out and about with a little more energy in her walk and boasting a full head of hair.
Wouldn’t it have been so much nicer if I actually knew her?
If I knew her name and I knew her life and I was able to assist her in some little way.
Imagine the wealth that would bring to a community; if we all supported each other.
Not just in our times of greatest need, but also on a daily basis. Wouldn’t this sense of inclusion help develop respect on a broader scale for people beyond our local community?
And wouldn’t it help us move towards a place where our youth would feel welcome, respected and wanted?
Would this sense of belonging help to decrease the movement towards radical ideology?
We may never know.
Unless we try.
We need to embrace solidarity. We must. We have no choice.
“Solidarity: Unity (as of a group or class) which produces or is based on unities of interests, objectives, standards and sympathies. It refers to the ties in a society that bind people together as one.” en.wikipedia.org.
What harm could it do to unite as one national or international community? On a local level and as a nation, we can be united.
We can embrace the idea of “all for one and one for all” banding together as a modern global version of the musketeers.
We just need to accept that multiculturalism and solidarity are not mutually exclusive.
“We are one, but we are many. And from all the lands on earth we come. We share a dream and sing in one voice. I am. You are. WE are Australian.” ∾Bruce Woodley.
Where is it written that to call ourselves “one” is in some way racist or bigoted?
To identify as “one nation” does not in any way suggest that we must relinquish our ties to our culture, faith and country.
In fact I feel it makes a bold statement that as a community of many we stand together in solidarity.
This should be our constitutional mantra.
It is in our own best interests to belong to a community of people who stand for the same overarching objectives.
If we continue down our current path, of factionalisation and disenchantment, we will never be able to make a stand against those who would do us harm.
Indeed, those people; those who seek to broaden the gulf between cultures and beliefs and those who thrive on disunity, will be coming from within our borders, from within our communities and from within our neighbourhood.
And we won’t know who they are, because we haven’t taken the time to embrace the people around us and build an inclusive supportive environment for all to live and grow together in harmony.
Though our ignorance we are inadvertently enabling the growth of the cancer that is tearing us apart, community cell by community cell.
Draining our society of its life force and growing rapidly in its place as a dark shadow.
Build bridges not walls
The challenge is not only to recognise the malady, but to take action.
Throughout history it has been the local community members that have risen up in defiance against invading armies. It was a sense of agency that drove individuals to enlist in rebel forces and resistance movements to become part of a greater cause.
We see this happening still.
Certainly, we could be forgiven for wanting to take up arms against our new foe. But we are fighting a different kind or war.
We are fighting against ignorance and intolerance.
A person may well question how, in this new environment, they as an individual can make a difference.
How can I help?
What can I possibly do to restore our societal architecture?
Valid questions and certainly worth asking.
If we don’t ask questions we cannot find solutions.
I feel that by getting to know your close and extended neighbours you will be taking the first baby steps towards reconciliatory processes.
When we have forged strong relationships within our local community we have strength.
That strength can be used to sway opinion; and a movement is born.
What will we do with that movement?
I feel that if a group of people, forged from a multicultural collective can unanimously pledge to work together as a community to restore cohesion, then the wider community (including government agencies) cannot help but notice.
This message will gain momentum and spill out into the broader regions of our society like a great wave of conscience.
This wave will capture hearts and minds, and the sense of inclusion will resonate through our many migrant (and indigenous) communities, whispering to them of the compassion our nation holds towards all its people.
If we remove the source of the fear by removing the feelings of isolation, disengagement and resentment, if we build social resilience, then we have removed the need for our youth to look outside their communities for acceptance.
If our older members of society feel embraced they will not feel the need to push back. If our youth, an integral part of our future, feel acceptance as a valued member of their broader community it will be just that little bit harder to convert their thinking to radical dogma.
We need strong, intelligent and thoughtful leadership, compassion and understanding as community members and commitment to building a unified and resilient society.
I’m Robyn Williams And This is my Manifesto To the world
To read more of my articles click HERE.
Acknowledgments & Credits
I would like to thank the following people for their input into this manifesto and for encouraging me to follow my heart:
Courtenay Williams; you are such a beautiful person, I am proud to have you in my life.
Mark Lamont; thank you for your brutal honesty.
Heather Hibbitt; I am sincerely grateful for your guidance.
Tom Williams; your creativity and talent inspire me to strive to be as amazing as you.
Credits: Front Page photo courtesy of Warren Bodnaruk retrieved from: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Our-Society-34025319