This holiday season, many of us will be spending time with family members who are very quick to recite what they hear on talkback radio or read in the tabloid press. That's why we've put together a guide to help you speak up for social justice and human rights this Christmas and holiday season, particularly about refugees and people seeking asylum, climate change and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
First, some general tips. Keep your conversations constructive and perhaps experiment with the following:
- Lead with shared values, such as family, community, fairness, freedom and treating others as we would like to be treated.
- Acknowledge the issue or concern behind the statement and imagine the issue from the person's perspective. Most people are just trying to live a good and peaceful life, hoping to leave a healthy, prosperous earth behind to benefit future generations.We just have different ways of approaching the issues and finding solutions.
- Name who is behind the problems and injustices, whether that’s a politician or big business. Your uncle (unless he’s the Immigration Minister), isn’t responsible for the unfairness and suffering experienced by refugees and people seeking asylum.
- Offer solutions, not just problems. It’s important to describe what we are seeking, not just opposing and to focus on outcomes, not process.
- Help them walk a mile in another's shoes. Perhaps start with how you would respond to a situation. What would they do in the same circumstance?
- Try not to argue, but gently offer another side to the coin.
We've picked some of the common statements we've heard in 2017 about refugees and people seeking asylum, climate change and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (if you have heard any others and would like to know how to respond - or to suggest a response – you can do so here.) Read our hints and tips by clicking on the circles below: