This morning began like most of my weekday mornings as I settled into a seat aboard the 577 to work. Today however I found myself sitting next to one of the regular passengers. She wasn’t your normal passenger mind. She was a well dressed lady, perhaps in her mid to late 50s?
Anyway, as the journey progressed she began to open a conversation with me. I wasn’t listening to music so my ears were free for her questions. One of these questions left me not knowing if I should laugh or cry.
“Is that a tattoo on your arm?” she enquired.
“Why yes, it is. How very observant of you!” came my retort.
“Is it one of those tea towel muslim supporting scriptures?”
At this early stage it might have been in my best interests to politely put my headphones in and ignore her completely. Don’t be rude I thought.
“No, it’s hindi sanskrit and it is a quote by Gandhi that reads “Be the change you wish to see in the world” which, in essence means that if you want to see positive changes in the world you have to lead the way.”
By now the look in her eyes resembled the look of a deer in the headlights at midnight. We continued to talk a while longer but her views were adamant and precise. Muslims and foreigners were taking over Australia and ruining our way of life!
Excuse me? Our way of life I thought? The way of life that was enforced upon our indigenous culture when the British invaded these shores and bestowed their own “ways of life” upon those who were forced to follow the British lead all those years ago. Democracy anyone?
The absolute arrogance, greed and selfish behaviour of white westerners never ceases to amaze me. I could have entertained her upon the ways in which this great country she resides in was built up by foreigners. But people of her generation are, for the best part, lost in a world of racist views and opinions.
Fingers crossed attitudes carried by this old duck will be lost upon future generations…….