Hank’s whole blog is worth reading, but I’ve included one section here that really moved me:
'The traditional Aboriginals are not 'goal oriented' in the same way that we Westerners are programmed to be from childhood, nor do they attempt 'to push the river' which they know with absolute certainty is an exercise in absolute futility.
In Miriam Rose's words: "We are like the tree standing in the middle of a bushfire sweeping through the timber. The leaves are scorched and the tough bark is scarred and burnt, but inside the tree, the sap is still flowing and under the ground, the roots are still strong. Like the tree, we have endured the flames and yet we still have the power to be reborn."
After more than 200 years of assimilationist practices inflicted upon them by church and state alike, the Australian Aboriginals are still here. They are used to the ongoing struggle and to the long waiting. In this sense, they still wait for the white people to understand them better.
They have spent many generations learning about Western ways. They have learned to speak our language and have listened to what we have to say. Yet they continue to wait for us to come closer to them. They long for those things they have always hoped for - respect and understanding.
In Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann's words: "We know that our white brothers and sisters carry their own particular burdens. We carry burdens as well. Yet I believe that if they let us come to them, if they would open up their minds and hearts to us and hear what we have to say, we might lighten their burdens. There is a struggle for all of us, but we, unlike them, have not lost our spirit of dadirri."
She concludes her message by observing "I believe that the spirit of dadirri that we have to offer to the world will help you Westerners to blossom and grow, not just within yourselves, but within your nation as well...
"There are deep springs within each of us and within them, there is a sound—the sound of the deep calling to the deep. The time for rebirth is now. If our culture and your culture are alive and well, as well as strong and respected, they will grow. In such a case, our culture will not die, nor will yours, and our spirits will not be lost. We will continue, together, as this was always meant to be."'
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