We build walls and fences to protect our property and possessions, something that the nomadic tribes around the world, including our own aborigines, see as unnecessary. We also erect barriers in our own minds that deliberately discriminate against things or people we don’t necessarily understand.
Whether we like it or not we must accept that Australia is a multi-cultural society. This should set us apart and allow us to be an example to the rest of the world in how to develop successful multi-cultural societies.
To be successful, we need to help those new to our shores to gently assimilate into the ways and culture of their new country. This has not proven to be as easy as it sounds, and we still have many barriers to overcome within our communities and within ourselves.
In every society there are always some ‘bad eggs’ and no one will argue that there is not a criminal element here among Australians. Therefore, we should not judge all those who come from other countries by referring to them in broad derogatory terms like extremists, terrorists or drug runners.
Just as the wall between East and West Germany came tumbling down, so too must we be prepared to break down our own personal barriers, particularly those barriers we build in our own minds.
I’m Peter Mack and that’s life