Recently the popular co-host of the TV show The Project, Waheed Aly, won the Gold Logie for the Best Personality on Australian Television 2016. He gave a gracious and humble speech. As Aly is Muslim and has brown skin, it was a ground breaking moment, suggesting that there is a little more openness to the diversity which exists in Australian society.
Another star of the occasion was Noni Hazlehurst, actor and presenter, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame. The only other female to be honoured in this way is the late Ruth Cracknell. Hazlehurst’s speech combining poise, humour and challenge also attracted attention.
Quite simply she said” What I want is to try and redress the imbalance, to actually have something that acts as an antidote to this unremitting negativity because I really think people are suffering and it’s dividing us …..I look forward to the day where it’s not an issue whether a man or a woman, or an Asian person or a Muslim gets anything in this country. We share more similarities than differences and I think I’m really keen to promote that idea because I think any other idea is divisive and potentially disastrous.”
Could I suggest that you read her words again?
We really need to hear them and heed them.
In time of Pentecost, let’s celebrate, as Joan Chittister writes, the “Spirit of God (who) moves us to new heights of understanding, to new types of witness, to new dimensions of life needed in the here and now” and give thanks for the wildness of the Spirit of God, “breathing where it will, moving as it pleases, settling on women and men alike.”
Let’s start with being antidotes to ‘unremitting negativity’.
I hope the stories in our eletter will get us off on the right foot.