I felt sad the other day when I saw you at the protest against the Forced Closure of Remote Indigenous Communities in Western Australia.
You stood on the steps of Parliament House, with no feeling in your eyes.
Your body language was stiff.
Your cheeks had their usual flush of insecurity, but your expression was cold….a practiced coldness, maybe, that helps protect you from getting hurt or affected when faced with acknowledging intense emotions.
I kind of felt let down by you when I saw you at the protest.
See, I’ve had these debates recently with many people who tell me you can’t feel anything.
I always try and stick up for you.
I always say,
‘He can feel, he just doesn’t know how to anymore…He’s forgotten and needs to be gently reminded.’
I’ve always promoted your capacity to feel but after your behaviour at the rally, I've started to have my doubts.
I watched you standing there on the steps, apparently observing what was going on.
With poker faced bodyguards protecting you, the occasional smirk was the only slight change in your expression that I noticed.
The rest of the time you appeared unaffected, untouched…and untouchable.
Could you really not feel what was happening out there?
Did you really not feel compelled to make a humane and compassionate response?
People of this land were angry.
Really furious, in fact
And you must know why.
Or is that the real issue here.
That you couldn't respond with feeling at the protest, cos you really don't understand what its all about.
People sometimes say mean things about you....call you names, like 'stupid' or 'ignorant.'
But again, I've never believed them.
I’ve always stuck up for your intelligence and capacity to learn new things, suggesting that maybe you just haven’t been taught properly yet.
And I still live in hope that this is the case.
In fact, I’m sure that if you were given the right education, due to your high levels of intelligence and ability to learn new things, you would understand completely and totally why people, Indigenous and Non Indigenous, are so angry with you right now.
More than that.
I’m sure, that with the right education, not only would you understand, you would then also feel what’s going on, as you would learn the necessity of emotional sensitivity and awareness and how vital it is for human health, well being and society as a whole.
Any decent model of education would have this as its central component.
As a concerned woman for your emotional and intellectual wellbeing, a concerned citizen for the state of affairs for Indigenous people in WA, as well as a faithful believer in your capacity to feel, understand and change, I am inviting you to take action.
There are several pathways you could choose.
My suggestion would be to try all of them and see which suits you best.
The first pathway would be to ask your wife about all this and listen to what she has to say.
You don’t have to tell me what her thoughts are…just hear them and decide for yourself what to do…
Women’s wisdom in matters of feeling can sometimes be enlightening and like I have faith in you to learn new things, I have faith in your wife to help teach them.
The second pathway could be to come for a walk with me.
I’ve gone through the process of opening my own mind to ways that are different to what I’ve been taught and can provide an empathetic, understanding and inspirational experience that will help you along with your journey.
The walking part’s important, not only because it helps look after your physical wellbeing, but it enables you to see how life around you can inform your learning.
It also helps you learn about ‘place’, an unusual concept for most of us white folk, but one that will teach you a new language, of sorts, that may help you relate better to the people from this land.
And then there’s your third pathway.
The most obvious and important, of course.
Learn from the people of this land.
Go seek real help….. not help in the sense of you asking them stuff so you can tick off boxes that say you've consulted with the community.
Real help, in the sense that you see where you’re empty and you ask to be filled.
Come from the space of acknowledging your lack of education in matters to do with Indigenous reality.
Come wanting…no, needing to understand.
Go to Herisson Island, maybe
There are people camped there who know more than you do
Take your bodyguards, if you feel insecure.
Ask the elders there if they'll give you some assistance....
Tell them you want to learn, so you can understand what's going on.
I don't know if you'll be helped......but at least you will have asked.
At least you'll have admitted you don't know....
Instead of pretending, with a smirk, that you do.
Intelligent Action, Colin.
Learn what you don’t know in life when you need to.
On the ground, with these people, under their trees, in their place.
Then decide if stealing away their land is the right thing to do or not.
I’m happy to help you arrange this if you're keen, as I realise how hard initiating the first steps may be.
I also realise how hopeless this whole situation remains until you receive a ‘proper’ education in these matters, so am urging a quick response from you.
My dedication and faith in your capacity to learn, feel and change remains strong, despite your behaviour at last weeks protest, so I sincerely hope you consider my words seriously.
Please let me know your thoughts and feelings as soon as possible.