News

OPINION: Dear Santa Claus, save us from ourselves

If I was to write a letter to a Santa Claus, some mysterious and powerful being who could grant wishes as some form of atonement or sacrifice for the sins and troubles of this world, there are many things that I would ask for.

And this year has shown many times and opportunities when certain things would have been so obvious to ask for. Indeed, would it be too much to ask for good will towards all women, and all men, and all children, and all elders, and all those who stand in the lonely places as frightened and desperate outsiders?

This year has seen a year of extraordinary challenge of prejudices.

Bigotry seems to have taken on a whole new guise of sophistication, as the bigots have slipped into rational discourse to disguise their barely concealed fears and prejudices.

It is as if the rhetoric we have been bombarded with has been for our own protection.

Yet the reality is for those preachers of hate, they are actually wanting others to join them in their dark and lonely, twisted places of fear.

Think of it.

I am frightened.

I am desperate.

I am lonely.

Please come and join me in this place.

We can find shelter here together.

Who will go to join them in that dark place?

Others who feel that fear as well.

In their fear of themselves, they will look for someone else to blame for their woes.

They create the us and them. They dehumanise the them.

They cast dispersions of criminalisation onto the innocent, binding them up with the sins of the deranged.

In doing so they fail to see how deranged they have become themselves. Because after all, they are different.

They are strange. They must be evil and wrong.

I find it interesting that the more we listen to the hatemongers, we can be swept up into believing the rationalisation, the justification of the fear and the hate.

We may only ever really notice this when the preachers of hate and fear fall silent. We can feel left with a sense of feeling like we have just been done over.

Unwholesome.

And when the leaders of this way are deposed, the overwhelming feeling that floods through us as individuals and as a people is that of relief.

Yet for those preachers of hate, little do they realise that when you teach others to fear and hate that which is different, when you teach the art of dehumanisation, that your followers will not know when to stop.

You learn to dehumanise a certain group, you can learn to dehumanise anyone. Including our own community, your own family, your own brother, sister, husband, wife, or child.

It is time that good men and good men found the courage to see through the lies of fear and hate and to stop listening to these people. Lest we become the target of such hatred ourselves.

A brighter, more prosperous future will not be found in the hands of frightened, wounded men and women who wish to shelter us in their fear. Only desolation and an endless cycle of recrimination.

And let's face it. We all have the ability to be that man or woman who preaches hate and fear, who hides away in our loneliness. We all have the ability to speak words that tear the life from another human soul.

We can even do it to our partners.

We can even do it to our children.

When we do this, how often do we wish we could bite our own tongues off, but in our moments of weakness and shame, instead find ourselves justifying our actions.

Justifying why our words are true, and vilifying the other guy.

So my Christmas wish to Santa Claus would be for the hearts of men and women to soften from defending our fractured, pain-worn egos and to be able to look at one another deep into the eyes, deep into the soul and to be able to drop into the true sorrow for our actions.

To look at those we have shredded with our words and actions and to say how sorry we really are.

May you find this courage for your life this Christmas.

And forever more.

Amen.

Paul Stewart is a Professional Coach with Compassion Coaching: www.compassioncoaching.com.au, and also supports the inSight Men's Circle, inSight Women's Circle, and Teen Tribe programs run through Hopelink: 07 4979 3626.

Topics:  opinion paul stewart



Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

'Most painful thing': Tannum dad's irukandji scare

SWIM SAFE: Duncan Kennedy with his daughter Ava, 3. Duncan said to check the sand for washed up jellyfish before going swimming.

Local dad takes precautions at the beach for jellyfish.

How businesses can cash in on Adani's $16b mega-mine

JOBS COMING: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Adani's Jeyakumar Janakaraj.

Regional suppliers wanted for Carmichael

'I'm scared': Great grandma paranoid over tendon-tearing fall

Agnes 'Chrissy' Perez with her injured elbow, pictured four days after she fell.

Grandmother's fall leaves her scared and paranoid

Local Partners

'Most painful thing': Tannum dad's irukandji scare

He has avoided being stung by a jellyfish his whole life but the same can't be said for his father, who suffered a potentially deadly irukandji sting.


New Year New Yard

Win $1000 Bunnings Voucher
Learn More

Comedian Damien Power becomes big hit on The Project

BIG NAME: Toowoomba comedian Damien Power will perform his new show Utopia at the Brisbane Comedy Festival in March.

The Toowoomba comedian is preparing for his most hilarious show yet

Wheels are in motion for Adani's operational hub

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry and Rockhampton Region mayor Margaret Strelow are both excited following the Adani business meeting.

Businesses expected to hear from Adani today

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

'Allo 'Allo! star Gorden Kaye has died

Gorden Kaye, pictured in Brisbane in 2007, found fame as a cafe owner Rene Artois in the iconic British television series ‘Allo ‘Allo!

ACTOR Gorden Kaye, from BBC comedy ‘Allo ‘Allo!, has died.

Lion roars to straight to No 1 at Aussie box office

Nicole Kidman, David Wenham and Sunny Pawar in a scene from the movie Lion.

THE Australian-made movie a hit, while Rogue One nears record mark.

Ozzy Osbourne fell asleep during his driving test

Not a good idea to give Ozzy a Ferrari

Kristen Stewart to host SNL

Kristen Stewart will host a pre-Super Bowl episode of SNL next month

Louis Tomlinson celebrated his son's first birthday

Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth celebrate son's first birthday

Kylie Minogue will take husband's name

Kylie Minogue will take her fiancé Joshua Sasse's surname

Accusers become accused in tenants from hell story

SPEAKING OUT: Scott Marsen says he doesn't want people to feel sorry for the couple who trashed his home.

Couple whose house was trashed accused of doing the same

Why investors are flocking to Moranbah

Moranbah homes are selling like hotcakes, creating a supply problem

Investors are scrambling to get into the market

Stockland's $150m pitch: Build it and they will come

Gladstone Marina. The Gladstone Regional Council offers a range of exciting job opportunities. Photo Contributed: Murray Ware.

Here's why we need to see Stockland upgrade start soon.

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

Gladstone market's confidence coming back for 2017

Core Logic property statistics reveal the region's median house price dropped 16.7% to $275,000 in the September quarter.

Region's median house price drops 16.7% to $275,000

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!