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'Mail' Newspaper Articles

Focal Point (For publishing 09/07/02)


"I am a rock, I am an island", sang Simon and Garfunkel. A rock feels no pain and an Island doesn't hurt, but sometimes it helps to be rock like, it's a way we cope. I'm aware of a young girl who had experienced the trauma of rape, yet could give an account of the incident as if it had happened to someone else. There are times in our lives and experiences when what is happening to us is too hard to process. We detach ourselves from it to avoid dealing with the pain. Many relationships operate along these lines. One party or the other is finding it too hard and too painful to deal with what is going on. So the search for connection goes on. Natalie Imbruglia is trying again with Chris Martin; a Silver Chair wasn't good enough. I read of a movie star who is said to be 'having a go' for the third time. Relationships and the relative quality of them, lay at the heart of the reconciliation process between people, communities, political factions and employers and employees in industry and nations. For example, if ever we are to get anywhere in reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, all sides will have to invest more time in moving from ignorance and denial and rebuild the broken relationships. Not many non-Indigenous people know the names of the leaders of tribes that roamed proudly in our valley before we took over, and where they are buried, yet they know where Captain Cook's cottage is. Last week I spoke to a Vietnam Vet and learned something of the ongoing pain of his life. We talk about 'sorry' days in regard to Indigenous injustices and rightly so, but we also seem to find it hard to say sorry as a nation to those returning Vets who were abused for fighting a war that they were conscripted to. An horrific war, the inhumanity of which had previously been unknown. It's no wonder that at the core of God's plan is the message of reconciliation. The Easter story is just that, a redemption process designed to reconcile a creator with His creation with Jesus as the peace offering. Tell me what other than a relationship with God will change a nation's heart and lead to all the reconciliation we need. Yes, everybody desiring a relationship with God or man needs to bring reconciliation into the process. No place for rocks and islands here. 

Graeme Dawson.
Focal Point
0409 517273


Focal Point Yarra Valley 2009