How much discomfort in someone else's life does it take for you to become uncomfortable? How many perks are you not willing to live without, even when it means that someone else will suffer?
Last week, our former Prime Minister Tony Abbott addressed the second annual Margaret Thatcher Lecture in London. In his speech he covered many areas including finance policy, the war against IS and the legacy of Great Britain's former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.
In his speech he outlined the merits of his government's policies, and encouraged those governments in Europe to follow suit. He also detailed much of the policy change needed in the world to combat IS and what he thought was some of the most pressing challenges of our times, '... managing the nation-changing, culture-shifting population transfers now impacting on Europe ...'
Talking about the western policies Abbott said 'Implicitly or explicitly, the imperative to "love your neighbour as you love yourself" is at the heart of every Western policy.'He went on to say that countries who are now opening up their borders run the risk of fundamentally weakening themselves though '... misguided altruism.'
What is fundamentally harmful?
This got me thinking, what does he mean by fundamentally weakening? Why does 'a country that can't control its borders ... (a country that) ... starts to lose itself'?
I would estimate he is referring to how all nations on earth are measured these daysâGDP. Our measurement of success and achievement on the global scale, is based on the amount of money we can all produce.
We have a system in Australia that, just like all other westernised countries around the globe, works because of money. Our whole system for living is based around it, so to allow a massive influx of people who aren't apart of the system in, would be really hard for it to handle.
You could liken it to making mayonnaise. You need to spin up egg yolks and slowly add in oil, drip by drip, allowing it to be absorbed by the egg. If you add too much too soon, the mayonnaise won't form and you'll be left with oil and eggs still.
Abbott's policy, was for the best
So considering this, the current government's policy on refugees and asylum seekers is a really good policy. Around the world, there has never been such an effective policy of keeping people from coming to another country to seek asylum. A policy which many conservative countries are taking note of.
For the system we currently have Abbott made the best call, and so really it is a little strange I find that he has copped as much flak as he has. All things considered, he actually made a really good call and one that is needed to continue the system we have.
Is the mayo worth it?
I think now though we have to ask ourselves the question: is the system we have at the moment worth it? Considering the measures we take to keep it intact, is it a system worth keeping when others may have to suffer?
I don't know about you, but I squirm when I see the pictures of overcrowded boats sailing across the seas, a little part of my heart dies every time I hear about people drowning at sea, all because they're simply trying to find a place to live that is with significant persecution.
I ask myselfâhow can I live here in peace, comfort and safety while there are many beaten, mistreated and sexually abused in detention camps? How do I feel about paying my taxes to a government that I know will knowing lock hundreds up in these camps, all while hiding all information about them, prosecuting those who speak up and refusing access to organisations like Amnesty International and the UN?
I really just sit and have come to the conclusion that we must change what we do, we the people. Yes, we must change policy, yes, we must change what we're doing on a global and regional level to help these people, but ultimately we are the people that have created and perpetuated a system that results in asylum seekers becoming collateral damage.
So the question is: Is the mayo worth it?
Michael Enderby is currently a public high school Chaplain with SU Victoria in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. He has a heart and a passion for walking alongside youth and helping them realise their potential. He resides as a lead tenant in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Michael Enderby's personal blog is herehttp://www.scot262wh.wordpress.com
His previous articles are at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/michael-enderby.html