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Anthem for Tomorrow’s Child

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It’s not your fault you are filled with hate

Got up this morning with one thing in mind, and that’s getting our young boy Noah ready for his first day at high school.In the process of going through this memorable day, I was reminiscing on the day when older son Max was going through the same thing. I was overwhelmed with pride and honour in the quality of kids that my wife and I have been blessed with.

Eventually, we managed to get into the car and make our way to school. Whilst on the way there, I was telling him about bullying. Basically warning him about being a bully and being bullied. He said to me, “Dad, I will never be a bully. You’ve raised me better than that. And if someone tries to bully me, I will go straight to the teachers or my big brother”. With a little chuckle, I said “the teachers will do just fine”. That made me feel extremely proud of him. On the radio, the ABC reporter was talking about Donald Trump and Noah said “he’s a big bully”. I responded with “that sums him up spot on boy”.

Anyway, as I drop him off, he gives me a fist pump followed by a Shaka hand wave. I took that as ‘Go now before you embarrass me’. LOL.

On my way to work, and thinking about my wife and my boys, I was entrenched with a euphoric feeling of love, pride and happiness. A sense of belonging, if that makes sense. To retain this feeling, I turned on the music that my eldest son had been playing in the car. It was Lebanese Dabkeh music (traditional Lebanese music which people perform the cultural dance too in the Middle-East). Admittedly I had the volume up but not high enough to disturb anyone.

I get to set of lights only to be blasted with these words (please excuse the language);
“Oi… Oi… Oi you f*ckwit.” I turned to him and put the volume down and said “sorry mate”… He said “don’t f*cken call me mate you Mossy. Turn that f*cken Quran shit off. This is Australia and you’re not welcomed here you piece of f*cken Arab Muslim shit. Pauline Hanson will f*cken get rid of all of you soon – camel jockeys”.

I was silent and stunned. Couldn’t answer him. It was as though my tongue was knotted up in a twist that couldn’t be undone. All the sense of joy and happiness had vanished within seconds. I burst into tears as I momentarily lost the sentimental value of today and the day Max started high school. Couldn’t move and couldn’t drive. Just shocked at the level of hostility thrown at me.

I managed to drive off and pulled over at the next service station to gather myself. I reflected on the situation and said, “this is how effing stupid these people are”. I was playing a song and not the Quran. It’s like the opposite ends of a spectrum. I remembered what my late father told me only to find solace in it.

He said; “Stay true to yourself. Remain the impeccable human that you are. Love everyone unconditionally. Never allow hate into your heart. Always remember your heritage and culture. Keep your faith strong. Keep your friends close but keep yourself closer to those who hate you so you can change them. Keep your heart and arms wide open. There’s plenty of room for everyone.”

So before I took off, I wrote a text message to both my boys and sent them the same lessons my father taught me.

I am certain that they will keep his legacy moving forward.

I turned off the music and put the Quran on. And I played it loudly too. Played it with pride as this experience increased my faith even more.

To the person that showed his true colours, if you ever come across this post, know that I will gladly and happily meet with you to talk to you. Share myself with you. Show you who I am. Share my stories with you, especially on my upbringing both in Lebanon and Australia. Show you a glimpse of the hardship that I’ve endured back home and how this great country has changed things for me. Demonstrate to you that I am more patriotic than you will ever be. I am certain that I will be able to change you to become a gentleman. One that prefers love over hate. One that will believe in and live a life of coexistence with others. Give me the chance and I will fulfil.

I forgive you for tarnishing my blessed experience pertaining to my kids. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault.



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  1. CD

    Have to disagree. It is that person’s fault.

  2. wam

    Good story and I am sad that your music was so attacked.
    My kid’s were lucky to have been exposed to Aboriginal, European and Asian languages and music pretty well from birth. They respect the sounds of others and have no hate. Most Australians have only the ‘ooga booga’ of the american films and are lost amongst non english sounds.
    I have been prejudiced against the septics since the my dad returned from WW2 and against religion since the church couldn’t accept ‘why’ questions.
    my question:
    Why do you worship a god that not only encourages men, women and children to kill but rewards them in heaven?

  3. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks for this, Oula. I’m sure there must be lots of people across Australia and across the world who are telling stories like yours of being verbally abused in these last few days. and unfortunately, those stories are going to become more and more common before the tide begins to turn again. I’m glad you haven’t let it damage you.

    I do have one little worry about what you say. ‘… Demonstrate to you that I am more patriotic than you will ever be. I am certain that I will be able to change you to become a gentleman. I really don’t believe this kind of thinking can get us anywhere, though. Forgiveness, yes, and understanding, of course. But the person in your story would only be more inflamed if you tried to demonstrate that you are more patriotic and more of a gentleman than he is, and the idea that it is our job to change other people is a doubtful one. (There’s lots of very sensible literature on this subject.) None of that is to say that we shouldn’t all be working towards a better world, and opposing nastiness when we find it. Sometimes that just means not taking the bait – just BEING that patriotic gentleman yourself. And you did a wonderful job of that.

    All the best in these difficult times.

  4. Matters Not

    Interesting story. But let’s cut to the chase. The closing mantra asserts:

    It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault.

    Then whose fault is it? The ‘dickhead’ in question? Certain political ‘fear mongers’? This particular government? The previous government? The society in general? The education system? Too many mental defectives on the loose? Who?

    Or does ‘responsibility’ simply evaporate? Or is it just to be expected? Common sense and all that?

  5. Steve Laing -

    wam – from my observation of the behaviour of people of the Muslim faith, there appear to be only a very small minority who seem to have interpreted the Koran as requiring them to kill people to get the full rewards of heaven. If what you stated was actually the case you would think that the 1.8 billion Muslims would be waging all out war on everyone else in order to get their heavenly delights. But they aren’t. Which leads me to the conclusion that this interpretation of scripture is about as relevant as the one about the world being created in six days, or the chap who lived in the belly of a whale for 40 days. Yet some Christians chose to believe that, but most do not – and yet still manage to retain their religiosity.

    Whilst not religious myself, my father is a man of the cloth, and I’ve noticed that on balance he has done far more positive things for the world and the community than most people do. So I won’t criticise his faith, even though I don’t share it. Similarly most Muslims want to live peacefully with the rest of the world as evidenced by the lack of major warfare by Muslim nations on non-Muslim nations, so repeating the mantra that Muslims just want to kill people is not particularly conducive to a thoughtful discussion on why some people constantly feel the need to terrorise (and I use that word purposefully) people who are peacefully going about their daily business.

    Oula – thanks for sharing your story. Don’t give in to the terrorists 🙂

  6. Kate Ahearne

    Steve, thanks for your very sensible response to wam.

  7. Jaq

    Wam- just another example of how someone can turn their prejudice into hate. The Bible also can be interpreted as violent and the Talmud? Thank you Steve for your measured response. Too many have been let loose with the tinniest amounts of information- a little knowledge is a dangerous thing- as we are now witnessing in the cabal of hate which is Trump- and our own racist government . There are people who respect you Oula. Remember they are in the majority.

  8. Kaye Lee

    Kate,it’s interesting watching the countries that people signing the petition are from. Many of them are from countries that fearmongers here tell us are having a terrible time. Apparently people would rather the hate stop than the refugees.

  9. Kate Ahearne

    Kaye, Yes, the people signing the petition certainly would prefer to stop the hate! I hadn’t noticed where people are from,though, so now .I’m off to have a look! Thanks for the heads-up.

  10. Keitha Granville

    We need more stories of ordinary people and the lives and the effect of hate on their lives. We need to teach our children that the world is made of different people, different colours, different religions, different tongues – just as in the furry and scaly animal kingdom, the human animal has many guises. My grandson saw a migrant from Africa today at the supermarket with her baby in a wrap on her back, he asked his mother why the baby’s face was painted. It hadn’t occurred to her that he had never seen another person of colour before – she explained, and he then said what a cute baby it was . Everyone smiled.

    Wam – your choice of the word “septics”in this thread is unfortunate, it indicates a prejudice against them. Because of WW2 ?? That is as unfair as the demonisation of today’s Australians by our indigenous countrymen. It isn’t our fault. My uncle was a prisoner on the Burma railway, more than enough pain and suffering for anyone, and yet later in his life he held no grudge aganst the Japanese of the day. It wasn’t their fault.

    The time is way past when we all need to heed the mantras – turn the other cheek, live and let live, love thy neighbour.

  11. Kate Ahearne

    Wow, Kaye. Isn’t that interesting? UK, US, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, UK, …….. And nothing much at all from the ‘Muslim’ countries.

  12. Kate Ahearne

    Kaye, Yes. Thanks for the link. A v. interesting article. I hadn’t actually come across those ‘pretend facts’ about the rape/crime statistics in Sweden before. And the different ways different societies define rape. Apples and oranges. All sorts of other great stuff there as well.

  13. Harquebus

    Oula is another who perpetuates the curse of religion upon us.
    Which is worse, the insult that he incurred as an adult or the religious indoctrinate abuse that he has inflicted upon his children?
    Religion has always been a much bigger problem for humanity than racism.


  14. Terry2

    Bullies and thugs have been emboldened by the rise of Trump and they feel that they can now spew out their hate and twisted ideologies without fear of being legally sanctioned.

    When our Prime Minister turns his back and tells us that it is not his job to call out a racist bully I inevitably think of attitudes to the rise of fascism in Europe during the 1930’s and where that was to lead us.

    Hang in there Oula, we are going through a bad time at the moment and that places an even greater obligation on all men and women of goodwill to continue to speak out and expose xenophobia.

  15. Johno

    Thanks for the story Oula. I am always saddened when I hear about this racist behavoir, as the attack on 18C saddens me.
    As far as patriotism goes, I feel more patriotism towards the red gum growing in my backyard than to the Australian flag.
    Keitha, well done to your Uncle for forgiving the Japanese, that is heroic behavoir.

  16. Michael Taylor

    Keitha, my father did the same thing. After spending two years in New Guinea fighting the Japanese one of the first things he did after the war ended was to forgive the enemy.

  17. beginner

    Thanks for the Oula story.
    Oula seems to have got the best of advice from his late father.
    It reminds me of the book ‘Four Agreements’:

    Re the experience of the shouty hoon in a car, at least he didn’t drive into a mall full of pedestrians. We can therefore assume he is not too advanced in regard to mental deterioration, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, there are those in the world who like to dish out malice – shouting insults, spreading fake news, creating fakebook pages, etc. I’m thinking this is part of their social upbringing.
    Kenitha’s reminder above to ‘live and let live’ is timely. If that were a global mantra and lived experience by all, peace would rein the world.

  18. Harquebus

    My Gran lost two brothers in Japanese POW camps. She never forgave the Japanese and hated them until she died. Absolutely despised them and never said a good word about them.
    My Nana raised four kids and miscarried one during the Nazi induced famine in Holland during WWII. Both of my Dutch grandparents never forgave the Germans.
    I guess you had to be there.

  19. Robyn Dunphy

    Oula, in some respects you are right, it is not his fault. It is the fault of the education system, parental indoctrination, the media, our politicians…… many, some or all of those things plus others. He wasn’t born with such hate which is, I believe, your point. However, it is an individual’s responsibility as an adult to open their hearts and minds to reason and logic – something many fail to do.

    Your abuser, if he could only see this, is no different to the young men fighting the ISIS battles. It is only by the sheer lottery of being born “here” rather than “there” that he ended up behaving as he did, rather than on the other “side”.

  20. Kate Ahearne

    Harquebus, Keitha’s story about her uncle and Michael’s about his father give the lie to your remark, ‘I guess you had to be there’.

  21. Harquebus

    Kate Ahearne
    Of course, as always, you know better. You know all about everyone’s suffering during that time and they must forgive because, you, another know-nothing, says so.
    I am not a liar and my remark can not be classified as a lie.

  22. Kate Ahearne

    Harquebus, The fact is that some people who were desperately wounded during that war chose to forgive,and some people didn’t. Or, to put it another way, some people were able to forgive, and some people were not. Or some people thought it was necessary to forgive, and some people didn’t, and so on…. When you say, ‘I guess you had to be there’, you are denying the lived experience of people like Michael’s father and Keitha’s uncle, who WERE there.

    Definition ‘to give the lie to…’ – Serve to show that (something previously assumed to be the case) is not true:
    ‘these figures give the lie to the notion that Britain is excessively strike-ridden’

    Or, if you prefer the Macmillan definition – to show that something is not at all true
    These figures give the lie to the notion that people are spending less.

    The interesting thing to me is that while the experience of Keitha’s uncle and Michael’s father do ‘give the lie’ to your remark, your remark does not ‘give the lie’ to them. That’s because their lived experience is true, and your remark, ‘I guess you had to be there’ is not.

  23. Wayne Turner

    It’s that guys fault – He’s an ignorant moron.They are always the last to know they are.No excuse to blame anyone else.If it was anyone elses fault,we would all be like that.He’s a non-thinking idiot.

  24. Johno

    Harquebus.. Some people believe we have many past lives. If that is true, maybe I was there.

  25. Harquebus

    Kate Ahearne
    If you are going to be pedantic then, allow me to bring your attention to the word “guess” in my comment. Look that one up.
    I suggest that you find more important things to spend your time on instead of continually arguing trivialities and inconsequentials. There are lots.
    Please join my mailing list. theAIMN will forward, I hope for those that request, my email address. I can provide much to worry about.

  26. Kate Ahearne

    Harquebus, Did you mean to use the word, ‘guess’ as in ‘Which box is the prize in?’ You don’t know,so you guess and say something like I’ll go with the green box.’ Or did you mean to use the word,’guess’ in the sense of ‘suppose’. As in, ‘I suppose you had to be there’? The first option wouldn’t make much sense at all in the context of your remark. The second option leaves us right where we started.

    To be aware, and sometimes critical of the ways in which language is used is not (necessarily) pedantic. Language is a tool that can be used to create or destroy. I am one of those who believe that it is the most powerful and dangerous force in the world. Constant vigilance is required.

    No thanks, I don’t want to be on your mailing list but thanks for offering.

  27. Harquebus

    Kate Ahearne
    We are getting off topic and you are once more just wasting my time.
    Your decision to remain part of the world’s problems does not surprise. If you’re not going to help then, don’t get in my way.

  28. jimhaz

    [My uncle was a prisoner on the Burma railway, more than enough pain and suffering for anyone, and yet later in his life he held no grudge aganst the Japanese of the day. It wasn’t their fault

    Each to their own. While as far as I know all people act pretty much the same given the same circumstances, I completely accept my uncles view as being reasonable and legitimate.. .relative to the circumstances at the time. Their cultural background made them act so much worse than what Australians would have. One can accurately say it wasn’t their fault – souls are pure fantasy, we are cause and effect dudes like everything else – but how long is that string. At what point does one require personal ownership of their actions to avoid excusing everything.

    Most certainly there are elements of this in relation to middle eastern people who have suffered from wars or the cage of religion or far less evolved social advancement. Whole groups get tagged with the failings of the few – just the same as we react to political parties or the Oi Oi Oi brigade.

    My uncle said this in 1995.

    “[And did you find that most of you got bashed by the Japanese?]

    There wouldn’t be very many that missed out, I can tell you. They used to love it, it was their sport, they bashed for nothing.

    [And did you ever see any compassion amongst the Japanese?]

    Not one bit. No, there’s no good Japanese, there’s no good Japanese. The only good ones have a hole in their head.

    [What about Koreans?]

    Worse, they were worse than Japs, those bastards were worse than Japs.

    [Why was that?]

    I don’t know, because they were the underdogs to the Japs, and they had to show their authority. The Koreans were worse. Oh, them bloody Korean guards were mongrel bastards, they were dreadful. Yes, they were worse than Japanese.”

    Interview with Leslie Gordon Gaffney (NX71862) Div. H.Q. ‘F’ Force POW

  29. Florence nee Fedup

    I think most find in life we have to learn to forgive. Hate only confines us, prevents us from moving on. Sometimes we have to do so, even when we receive no apology. Doesn’t never means we condone or accept the the actions.

    Hate destroys all in it’s path.

  30. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks, Florence. ‘Hate destroys all in its path’, including the hater.

  31. Roswell

    Wise words, Florence.

  32. Harquebus

    Thank you for that link concerning Gordon Gaffney.
    Much appreciated.

  33. jimhaz

    [Thank you for that link concerning Gordon Gaffney]

    I kind of regretted posting it, as I shouldn’t use an extract of my uncles views as a tool in support of my own off topic argument.

    To some it might paint him as bitter – he wasn’t, he was just a real dinky di character, whom everyone seemed to like and have respect for.

    I’m still hoping GW/population increase does not lead us into those sort of circumstances. I have a lot more confidence in renewable energy than you – all the other areas of involving resource overuse, environmental destruction and the viciousness of human nature when in a decline, worry me more.

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