Hope Rules, OK?
Loreless is about hope.
The tantalising thought that change can still happen drove me to write the book.
I still hope.
I still believe that change will come.
The basic idea for the book came to me almost 25 years ago and my feelings have not changed. I continue to write from the heart. There is no other way.
You can’t write about something that you are not passionate about.
It will not ring true.
The change I had hoped for all those years ago has not come. Unfortunately, a lot of problems that outback indigenous people faced back then, still remain.
The process of reconciliation is painfully slow. Not really that dissimilar to writing a book. For the longest time I kept stalling with writing it. I thought that what I wanted to say wasn’t relevant anymore. Not writing it for that reason was also pure procrastination. It was born out of the fear of what other people would think and say. It was also an ongoing self-imposed belief that what I had to say was naive.
Perhaps it is naive. I certainly hope not.
Change will only come when there is a groundswell of support for it. A strength in numbers is needed to ensure that it happens. Maybe there just needs to be a lot of so-called naive people out there who believe in change.
The biggest problem I found during research for the book is that there is a big brother attitude towards Australia’s first nation. It is practically Orwellian. You could lay the ‘1984’ theme down over all of it. The whole situation smacks of a totalitarian society in relation to indigenous people.
It is akin to a parent dealing with a child. My research showed one thing was consistent over the years: the belief that indigenous people were incapable of looking after themselves. It is dehumanising.
Even officially saying sorry plays into this. Sorry doesn’t cut it if you don’t mean it. I have children and they have to learn to say sorry. It’s not automatic, well not always. You can say sorry and not mean it. An apology is a cop out. It excuses all false actions. In a parental situation it is worthless unless real change comes through accepting responsibility for wrongdoings.
The problem in modern Australian society is that no one is willing to give up their piece of the pie. Why should they? They worked hard to be a member of the lucky country. They earned it. Indigenous people have also worked hard to maintain their identity. Surely they have just as much right to a decent slice of pie.
As long as communities are not given the right to govern their own affairs then there will be no real change.
It has been claimed that one facet of the problem is how indigenous people see themselves.
Have they given up? I think not. Some have indeed accepted that it is the way it is. They are weary from decades of battling with the system. It would wear anyone out. But not everyone thinks that way.
There will always be fresh blood to continue on. Every new generation has a chance to go one step further. Change takes time. Even something which appears swift and sudden on the surface has spent years moving towards that point. Success is rarely an overnight occurrence. The media likes to paint that picture though. The pop star that came out of nowhere or the politician that jumps out of the shadows to take charge. It’s all about training and planning. It’s about accepting that it will require a tremendous amount of grit, patience and time.
It won’t be easy. That was clear from the beginning. It doesn’t mean that we should stop. We must keep moving forward.
And never give up hope.
Do you have something you hope for?
Leave a comment below or join the mailing list and let me know.