Part 1: How do we save Aboriginal people these days from self-pity?
Someone recently said this to me about Aboriginal People and their Problems:
How do we save people these days from self-pity and discouragement and suicide here in Port Augusta? It seems easy to blame others, but what can we do to change things?
This was my initial response:
In regards to how Aboriginal people react to their issues and problems we often face each and every day, the term ‘Self Pity’ is probably not the most appropriate word to use, as the term can be often used as a term to both, firstly blame the victim (blackfellas) rather than blaming the abuser (whitefellas), and secondly the term can be used as an way out for the abuser to escape responsibility of ones actions agaist another i.e., ‘Hey! It’s not my fault that Aboriginal people abuse alcohol each and every day? I’m not the one who put that bottle in their hands and mouth, they did that themselves!
What can we do to change things?
Always remember that one solution or one size does not fit all for everyone is different, including we Aboriginal People.
This is why our government fail in their attempts and they keep failing because they always think one solution or program will solve all.
This is my additional expanded response:
It is often very very difficult for non-Aboriginal people to have empathy towards all the daily issues and problems that we Aboriginal people face each and every day.
To show empathy is to identify with another’s feelings. It is to emotionally put yourself in the place of another. The ability to empathize is directly dependent on your ability to feel your own feelings and identify them. However, if you have never felt a certain feeling, it will be hard for you to understand how another person is feeling and this is why most non-Aboriginal people find it difficult to understand how Aboriginal people feel.
Intellectually a non-Aboriginal person can define the term racism and all it’s negative connotations but they can never ever feel and describe the hurtful all consuming heartache and emptiness that is felt deply, very very deeply, inside a person heart and mind who may only experience even the smallest amount of racism let alone any of the extremist forms of racism.
It is even much more difficult if that non-Aboriginal person also happens to be a professing and/or practicing Christian because their one solution to all the world’s problems, including the Aboriginal problem, is always ‘Christ Jesus Our Lord’:
The Catch Cry of Christians so often heard is:
“Turn to Jesus and you will be saved and all your wordly problems and doubts will go away.”
For example a often quoted quote is the one by Linda Harry who once said:
There is only one way to end a self-pity cycle: stop comparing yourself to others, and simply follow Christ.
The only problem with this is that most ‘Christians of Today’ often forget that sometimes the ‘Christians of Yesterday’ were and are often part and parcel of the problems and issues that we Aboriginal people face today: e.g. often responsible for loss of our culture, our language, our Aboriginal identity, some Christians Missionaries were often much harder tasksmasters and even more crueler than their government appointed non-Christian counterparts because of their religious fervour and blind faith to save and lead the savage aborigines to Jesus and eternal salvation before they all die out etc
Retuning back to ‘How do we save people these days from self-pity’
I say this, when it comes to helping Aboriginal people to overcome their problems and issues then the first thing you need to do is this: ‘Erase the word ‘self pity’ from your mind.’
Self Pity is when a person often deny that they are not responsible for their lot in life and assign blame for their misery to the outside world but this form of ‘self pity’ is not appropriate to use when it comes to Aboriginal people because:
‘We Aboriginal can assign and place full blame and responsibility to both past and present White Australians for our current lot in life, and it is often made much more difficult because it is they who actually deny such blame and responsibility.’
I find I must always remind people, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people of this simple fact and calculation:
For 179 years Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples have lived under the heavy burdensome yoke of full oppression and we have had only 42 years of relative freedom from this oppressive yoke to not only for our Peoples to address many of the past oppressive issues and policies, but at the same time, we also had to address the present and future ones as well.
After 179 years of full oppression we cannot perform miracles in less than 42 years of relative freedom, for such miracles can only be performed by the Great Creator and not us black fellas, or anyone else for that matter.
This entry was posted on August 8, 2009 at 3:41 p08 and is filed under Aboriginal, Aboriginal Social Justice, Adnyamathanha Yura Culture, Australia, culture, Health & Wellbeing, My Beliefs, My Writings, politics, Social Justice with tags Aboriginal, Opression, Port Augusta, self pity. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.