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Reconciliation a positive step for spiritual growth

THE reasons people walked in the Reconciliation bridge walk in December were diverse. For some it was a recognition of the grave injustices and oppression Indigenous peoples have faced since European invasion of this country.

For some it was an opportunity to say “sorry”. For some the walk was a stand against the continuing racism towards Indigenous communities.

For me it was all of these things. But I have to admit to also having had a self-centred reason.

I needed to go on the walk to help me answer some of the most fundamental questions for me - “Who am I?”, “Where did I come from?” and “Where am I going to?”

Reconciliation is a positive word in that it implies that both groups have something to learn from discussing and understanding their differences.

I try to find meaning in life through connection with purpose, people and place. Our modern consumer culture provides few opportunities for the deep, spiritual interdependencies that nurture these. As a society we are technologically advanced, but spiritually backward, and through this have little sense of the soul of the land or of the rich dreaming that underlies our lives.

The year 2001 is upon us. Perhaps in our New Year resolutions we need to ask some deeper questions that are eating away at our soul. Questions like “Who am I?”, “Where did I come from?” and “Where am I going to?”

These may sound like esoteric questions, but by listening to the Indigenous custodians of this land, they can help us with the vital questions of how we are to live with each other while not destroying the Earth.

* Rodney Vlais is a social analyst involved with several non-profit organisations.

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