Sunday, 12 April 2015

Dear Mr Prime Minister

Dear Mr Prime Minister

            Picture yourself in your own home. Safe. Healthy. Warm. Comfortable. Surrounded by people who care about you and that you care about. You entrust your hopes and interests in a government that you believe will never turn on you, even if you don't always appreciate its policies. It may not be hard for you to imagine because you may already be living that life, or at least some semblance of it.

            One day you hear a knock at your door. It is a woman [or man] and her young family. You don't know her. She doesn't know you. She is obviously not from your neighborhood. And yet here she is scared and in a state of disarray. The woman's home is no longer safe for her and her children and they have left it. Having taken to the streets this woman finds herself at your front door. She asks you one question. She asks for your protection.

            You have a choice before you. You can open your door to this stranger and her family. Or you can close your door and go about your day pretending that this interaction never took place. Of course it is a no brainer of a choice. I want to believe that you would do the humane thing and offer the woman and her family your protection.

            So you invite the woman into your home. She does not intend to occupy your home forever. She just needs your protection until she can be certain that her home is once again a safe place, until she can get back on her feet. There is great potential in that single act of kindness.

            Recently a friend asked me what the definition of an asylum seeker was. They thought it meant something derogatory. I explained there was nothing derogatory about asking for asylum and I used the above story as a domestic example. But what a sad state of affairs this country is in when a reasonably smart adult has been led to think that asylum is a dirty word.

            As a nation will we continue to alienate the world and ourselves with inhumane choices? Are we ever going to reprogram and stop being victim blamers? Dear Mr Prime Minister, is this how you want your leadership and government to be remembered?