Here in Australia, an Aboriginal man named Adam Goodes, a star Australian Football player, is at the centre of a raging national conversation about racism. He has been booed by the crowd for the last one to two years, and he has taken leave from playing football this weekend due to the toll the booing, and the national conversation about the booing, is taking on him.
The newspapers, radio and TV are filled with opinions about whether or not it’s racism, and what it all means.
My view is that the conversation is fruitless as long as it remains at the level of content. The place the conversation needs to go is to the ontological level. Here are four points about the situation from an ontological point of view:
- the incompletions of the past are coming up into view
- the past cannot be completed while ever blame is present
- the past cannot be completed until one party takes 100% responsibility for the relationship, which is to say, for the future
- what’s missing is a possibility – a future to live into – which people can be enrolled in.