The Day My Book Went Roundabout

I set down “The Tale of the Otori Trilogy”, a truly fabulous collection of books by Lian Hearn (who’s real name I’ve forgotten). Nevertheless, I didn’t want to go slugging around an 800 page book for the evening, so I left it on the table in good faith- it was a Christian gathering, it would be safe. I went inside, after the mass, for a small dinner with everyone else who came- Father Michael (from school) was great friends with everyone, even if he didn’t know them. That’s why I love him so much, but more on that later. Continuing, I eventually went back outside and collected my book from the table when we were planning to leave.

Unbeknownst to me, an Aboriginal boy had taken my book a long time ago. He was about 8, I think, and when Father Mac saw him carrying it, he asked him if it was his. It was not, and with a grin, the priest said (I can imagine),
“I think you’d better put that back where you found it.”

Father’s masses are largely for the Aboriginal community. He loves and accepts all without prejudice, or any sort of judgement, and I admire him greatly. What I don’t understand is why the boy took it. I had asked the kids at the mass (ordered to by my dad) if they could sing in the choir. None of them could read, so I nodded and thanked them anyway. Dad said the reason why he took it was because it was in his nature to- that’s how he was brought up. I’ve been thinking about that a lot. Eugene neither agreed nor disagreed, and when I tried to defend the boy, Dad raised his voice and gave the “I’ve lived forty years longer than you” speech, about all the experience from his days. While I don’t doubt all he’s seen and endured, I don’t believe it fair to close your heart to stereotypes.

But then Eugene joined in by mentioning all the abuse and whatnot that runs in Aboriginal families. He says education would solve just about everything. I have to take his word on it for that one. My father is racist because he has suffered much racism, and it has turned him callous. My mother is racist because she was brought up believing that Chinese culture is the greatest in the world, and that it shouldn’t be mixed with anything else. My brother, I am unsure of, but he seems rational in his love. Me? I want to love everyone, and ignore how people look like, but I’m being warned on all sides that they’re bad folk. I’m not sure if I’m being impractical for ignoring the obvious.

Example. Red Cross Soup Patrol- riding around in a soup van and giving cups of soup and loaves of bread to the homeless. One lady came up, and she looked a mess. I didn’t know what had happened to her, but I pitied her greatly and wished I could change her life for the better. My partner for the night said she was probably wishing she could get her hands on more drugs. I know he was probably right, but I hadn’t considered it until he told me. I had ignored the obvious.

Father Mac is a legendary figure because he is not racist at all. He becomes mates with everyone who exists, and they come to love and respect him because he loves and respects them. That, my friends, is what Christianity is all about. But I just can’t do it. I’m too scared that if I were to start chatting with an Aborigine, we’d have nothing to say, or he’d swear at me. That’s racist, for even considering it as a possibility. Let me remind you of the time two different groups of Aborigines tried to steal from my bag, while I was wearing it, on the way home from school. A bunch of abo (not racist, just shorting the word) kids threw rocks at my Mum’s car for no apparent reason- they were about 5, 7 and 9.

It is a sad society we live in, to have done this to the people who lived here first. We were ‘cultured’ enough to make guns, so we were the ones who came, who saw, and who conquered. And after that, the racism hasn’t finished since, because of our bitterness to the Aboriginal ancestors, who in turn were bitter to us. This bitterness has passed through generations of children who live on two different sides of the social barrier. What will it take to break that barrier down?

I apologise for the long read. I’ve just had a lot on my mind to think about. Love is always worth giving, isn’t it? But what if that love is not returned, and I end up losing my wallet or something because of it?

***

Question for the day:

What would you give to save the life of a total stranger? Say, if time was frozen, and this person needed your help to survive, how much would you give to save them?

PS: In response to Georgie’s comment, the only people who would read a two-page story (Microsoft Word) is someone who enjoys it, or is told to. If you see a diary entry that long, pretty much the only reason you would read it is because you want to see what’s being said. Because you don’t mind how long something is, as long as you enjoy it. That is the only way I have managed to survive reading the Captain’s entries, which are considerably longer (2-4 times) than my own.

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2 thoughts on “The Day My Book Went Roundabout

  1. Liam, Baron of Hoskuldstadir says:

    Just thinking about a gun society for a second- a lot of people think that they bring more protection and safety to the community- but I think that personally, there are a lot of people I could have shot if a gun had been close by, If I got angry enough to do so. And what about the hundreds of stories about kids picking up guns, accidentally waving them around and shooting their brother or dad? It’s all too possible, and its made it more than clear to me- the gun was the worst invention in human history.

  2. Ivy says:

    HELLO I AM BACK.
    You know, I read the entry and I thought it was kinda touching. You see, you said the boy probably couldn’t read.
    Maybe because he didn’t have any books to learn from?
     
    Dunno how possible is that. Also, the part about the woman wanting drugs.
    Ever considered who brought drugs to Australia?
    I think drug addicts are sad people, whose addiction isn’t really their fault. They should be helped, not judged.
     
    In giving love in harsh realities, it’s important not to be blind. What would you give to save the life of a total stranger? When people find themselves in situations like this, my conclusion is that Luck is just being evil. There is no right way out of it. Think of the gried suffered by your loved ones if you sacrifice. Think of the grief suffered by the other person’s loved ones if you don’t. So sometimes, it’s better not to think at all, just follow your heart. Whatever the outcome, it will take its own toll on people, and life’s like that. Whoever said life had to be right all the time? But what matters is, you do what you think is right.
     
    I cannot comment on racism, because I live in a very fair country which values racial harmony.
     
    I miseed ya, looking forward to catching up with you sometime, but for now, sleeptime! Goodnight.

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