Today is the first day of National Reconciliation Week (NRW), and as an Official Supporter of NRW 2012, I'm proud to present a number of high profile and passionate Australians here to celebrate Reconciliation and this year's theme 'Let's talk recognition'. To kick of a thought-provoking week of blogging, I'm thrilled to welcome Luke Pearson. Luke is an Aboriginal educator, facilitator, social commentator and avid tweeter and blogger!
And if I do say so myself, he's one deadly dude! So, read Luke's words, consider his comments and leave one of your own. Peace, Anita
I often get asked about my thoughts on Reconciliation...
People ask me how Reconciliation is going? Where it is going? And is it ever going to get where they think it should be?
While I cannot see the future, I always find these questions very easy to answer.
And like all the best answers, it comes in the form of more questions...
"How is Reconciliation going these days?" ... How are you going these days? How are your friends and family? How is your community?
"Where is Reconciliation headed?" ... Where are you headed? Who are you following? Who is following you?
"How are we ever going to get Reconciliation to where it should be?"... How are you going to get where you think you should be?
To me Reconciliation isn't some intangible, ever-elusive abstract. It isn't a far away dream, and it isn't the boogie man.
It is you and me; and everyone else too.
It is about how we get along together; how we support each other; how we learn from each other; how we share with each other. It is how look after each other, and how we look after ourselves.
It is about owning our history, our present and our future; together.
"True reconciliation does not consist in merely forgetting the past." Nelson Mandela.
It is not about 'forgetting the past', or even getting 'over the past'. It is about coming to terms with our present; and determining our directions for the future.
It is about understanding the past is not just 'a long time ago' and the future is not 'a long time from now'. The past is nothing more than a series of yesterdays, each leading directly into the next, going back to the beginning of time. The future is tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that, going forward until the end of time.
It is easy to feel outside of such enormous concepts as 'Reconciliation'. .. but you are as much a part of Reconciliation as any of the other 22 million individuals who combined, make up 'Australia'. So are the countless millions who created our history, and the millions more who will inherit it after us.
Your community, your friends, your family; they are Australia. So is the family who lives next door to you, so are the family who live on the other side of the country to you.
Your actions, beliefs and attitudes; they are a part of Reconciliation. The way you directly and indirectly influence the beliefs, attitudes and actions of others; these are your contributions to the Reconciliation journey of others.