I think I may have posted on this once before...but it's come up again for me.
Saturday, 3. November 2007, 03:00:39
A friend wrote this "red-neck i reckon but mostly a good place to live, in order to sue you have to be able to prove, i live in a right to work state which means you can be fired just because...." Which got me thinking again about the world we live in.
What makes a place more liberal in it's thinking?
I've asked my mother the same question about here in Australia...she thought it might be due to the multicultural influences we have here.
I've always thought that it had more to do with being open about everything with anyone that you meet.
Perhaps it's more to do with openly accepting everyone that you meet as being 'acceptable'.
I think my attitude has had an effect on the people that i've made friends with...but that is a small drop in the ocean of a state, let alone a whole country.
I really have a hard time getting my head around cultures that are not accepting of peoples differences. I can't help but ask why people think the way they do.
Does where you live geographically play a role in the liberalised thinking of the community? Do coastal areas develop liberal thinking before inland centres? Do areas isolated by mountains or extremes in climate develop slower than other areas? Or am I asking questions that could be compared to the chicken and the egg dilemma?
I know that country Victoria has always seemed about 20 years behind Melbourne, but in the last 15 years it's leapt up to almost level with the city. I wonder if that is to do with transport being easier, and developments like mobile phones and internet becoming commonplace?
Perhaps I'm not even asking the right questions...What if liberal thinking isn't a good thing?
Which is a foreign concept for myself...as i've been taught to try and appreciate everyones differences.
Actually, recently I've discovered I'm not as accepting as I'd thought (perhaps it's old age). What's worse is that I've realised that I just don't understand a culture that is in my own back yard. Last New Year I met an Aboriginal girl from central Australia, which reminded me of stories other friends had told me about central Australian Aboriginals. BTW, I'm saying Aboriginal rather than Koori as central australians find it almost derogatory being called Koori, as Kooris are from a region only found on the east coast (a bit like calling everyone in Europe an Italian, it demeans thier own culture by lumping everyone together under the one label). My friend BJ who worked up thier in the local communities, told me that they prefer to be called blackfella's, but I can't quite come at that...oh and that they associate Indians and some Asians as blackfella's and therefore more like them than the whitefella's. Anyway I use 'aboriginal' as it just means native to an area from the begining.
So anyway, I have a hard time consolidating how I think of Aboriginals, due to the fact that their culture is so foreign to me. I can relate to Bangladeshi Muslims, Indian Hindus, Italian Catholics, British Prodistants, and a whole host of other cultural groups from around the world...yet I find the culture in my own back yard so foreign. From what I have learnt about the central Australian Aborigines, they tend to live for the day, and share what they have with all the family with no thought for what comes tomorrow. Anything that belonged to someone who's dead is destroyed, so there is nothing old apart from the landscape and anyone who lives to old age. So whitefella's are seen as rich, simply because they can buy a fortnight's food and not consume it all that same day...or because house's, car's and furniture aren't seen as things that are disposable.
I suppose those are the things that I find most un-understandable. I'd have thought that, instead of continuing to do things that leave them living from hand to mouth, they'd have learnt from whitefella's that there are other way's of living which let you achieve and have all the things that you could dream of.
The girl that came to stay last New Year, thought that I was rich...but in reality she receives more money from the government as a pension than I do. I just live in a nice two bedroom flat, with furniture i've either bought or inherited, and spread what little money i have around so that I can eat and live in reasonable comfort.
I've had family members suggest that I'm not careful enough of what money I do get, and at times have agreed with them...but I can't get my head around receiving $600 on day and the next it being gone with no roof or food to show for it.
My other bug bear is that many of them are not happy with the way thier lives are...yet are unable to do what needs to be done to improve thier lot...instead many turn to alcohol or drug abuse to escape from it all. I suppose that isn't too different from any other level of society living in distress.
Again it all comes back to, what does it take to change the way a community thinks? Perhaps they are too isolated from the liberal western thinkers, to learn what they think would be helpful to their own culture? Perhaps they think we're the crazy ones? It worries me a lot that i've begun to think of an'us' and 'them'...before I just thought of us all as Australians and members of the world. Now I see such a gulf between how I live my life and thier culture.
It's made me wonder about how I've influenced my friends to become more Australian. I had thought that by attending their functions and religious festivals, and eating all the different foods from thier home towns...meant that I was integrating thier cultures into my Australian one. I've helped friends with thier pronunciation, and explained the different usages that Aussies have for certain words, that have been different from what they learnt in school english back home. I've made an attempt to integrate certain important words from thier native tounges into my vocabulary. Yet after all that am I just a hypocrite? Am I just trying to impress my view of how the world should be upon
my friends, by dictating what an Australian is and that they should aspire to be one???
I think of myself as a liberal thinker...but perhaps I'm not. Why is it that I assume that the rest of the world should aspire to thik like me? It's quite an arrogant way to live life. Am I being Hitleresque, in my own way? I promise not to kill you, but you should assimilate to my way of thinking.
Is the fact that I'm questioning myself, enough of a point to prove that i'm not as bad as all that? I have friends that would tell me that...but i'm not quite convinced. Perhaps i'm just a subtle dictator.
Don't AA member's state that admitting you have a problem is the first step in finding an answer? "Hello, my name is Kate and I'm a dictator." Then what???
So, i'm begining to hurt my brain with all this thinking tonight, so I'll catch you all later.