Opinion

Let’s stick together

Disagreeing agreeably is an art. Our community needs it now more than ever to heal a divided nation. Growing up in Kenya, I learned one of the most valuable lessons as a child – how to disagree agreeably.

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Due to lack of material comforts such as shoes or even a bed to call my own, I had to learn how to disagree agreeably with my siblings. As one of ten children I had to share everything, including one Sunday best dress.

I wouldn’t change a thing about my childhood. As a Christian I now know and believe God was preparing me for what lay ahead – a moment like this.

Whatever your circumstances, whatever your situation, God is also preparing you for the task ahead and he can use anything and everything in your past. This reminds me of Philippians 4:13
– “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

Landing in Perth, seemingly all of the world’s races were represented in one city!

Can we fast forward to 1999 when I landed in Australia with my husband and our three daughters? My initial impression was how different Australia was compared to the home I had left behind.

In Kenya, the majority of the people are black Africans. But here, landing in Perth, seemingly all of the world’s races were represented in one city! In that airport, I encountered Britons, Australians, Europeans, Asians and Africans living and working together harmoniously. This must be as a result of the perfect art of how to disagree agreeably.

In such an environment with so many cultures represented, disagreement is inevitable. The way Australian culture has evolved over the years is like when you put a Berocca tablet in water.

The way Australian culture has evolved over the years is like when you put a Berocca tablet in water.

It is what I call the Berocca Principle. When you drop a Berocca tablet into water it fizzes and dissolves. You no longer have a Berocca tablet or pure water. It is a new mixture which did not exist before and it has a different colour!

This is the way the Australian population has grown. It reminds me that we are all created in the image of God but with unique gifts, differences and talents. It is what God intended for all of us – unity and diversity here on earth.

Lucy Gichuhi is the independent senator for SA.

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