It's been a difficult week for those of us in Australia who have been confronted by the events on Manus Island. While I have never had any illusions about the potential for political bastardry by our current government, I was still appalled by the total lack of compassion and empathy from those people who are supposed to be our 'leaders'.
It's been reassuring, then, to read these two articles. This one, by a former Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, reasons that, "There is a humane, efficient and affordable approach. If only we would try it."
This article by social researcher, Hugh Mackay, explores the immorality of the government's turn-back-the-boats policy. He says, "We are living through a dark period in our cultural history where politicians like Morrison are actively encouraging a dulling of our moral sense by appealing to that most dangerous moral principle of all: "The end justifies the means."
These are real people that are being locked up in detention camps. They have a right to apply for refugee status; they are not illegal (regardless of how many times politicians blather that they are).
Let's treat these refugees as we would like to be treated ourselves - with respect, compassion and empathy. Simply as one person to another. Surely that's what being human is all about.