The Challenging Conversation

I want to thank my eldest son, Lucas Brent Preston, for the most amazing discussion which took place in our kitchen last night.  My husband Terry, Lucas and I discussed a wide range of topics from Gay Marriage to Politics and Boat People, and it was a wonderful thing to find that all three of us could have such varied ideas, opinions and beliefs and still respect each others point of view.

Lucas Preston 2006
Lucas Preston 2006

I was amazed to find that Lucas believed that it was time for the topic of Gay Marriage to be taken to the people of our nation through a referendum which was totally opposite to my view that Gay Marriage should not occur at all and which I base on my personal religious beliefs.  Terry had another point of view altogether – that Gay Marriage should not take place, but from the point of view that – as a generational concept of the “the baby boomers”, it was not a socially accepted practice.  Three opinions based on three viewpoints and none of them entirely wrong.  Interestingly, we could come to a common ground – each of us thought that if the leaders of our country took the issue to the people we could live with the outcome.  The benefit of a referendum would be in knowing that the people had spoken, and not a politician that was looking to further his career.  I don’t believe a referendum could change my point of view on this topic, but it took strong discussion of this topic with my son and husband for me to realise that the power of this decision should be placed into the hands of the people who will have to live with the outcome.

We could come to no agreement on the topic of Politics, but on the length of time it takes to process the application of Refugee/ Boat People we did agree.  It is inhuman to keep people, especially children, locked up in detention centres for years, but we could find no common ground on how to achieve quicker processing times, or in fact, a way to stop the boats from coming to our shores. What this topic did stir in me though, was a thought that we should be more vocal as a community about the processing of Refugee/Boat People status.  Whether we believe that they should be sent back to their own country, or welcomed into our country does seem irrelevant, if we cant first decide how to treat their applications.

It has been fascinating to me to watch my child grow into an adult (a process which I firmly believe takes a lifetime), but it is profoundly humbling to have that adult challenge my view on the world with good and solid evidence to support his argument.  What more could his father and I have hoped for in our son.  He challenged me to think from a different point of view, to examine why I believed what I believed and to evaluate whether my belief “stood up” to critical argument.  I love to listen to what others have to say on today’s important issues because I always learn something new.  Sometimes that knowledge leaves me no other option but to change my way of thinking and other times I find that someone else’s thoughts support my own, but from a different view point.

My greatest joy in last nights conversation was in seeing Lucas strongly believe in things, but allow others to have their own opinions and listen to their arguments – wow!! what a night.


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