In The Pursuit of Lemons


Kabul has fallen. Most people would be unaware because the overturn of the Afghani government by the Taliban is interwind between weather and updates in sports on Australian news channels this morning.

People desperate to flee have been running onto the tarmac of Kabul Airport in the hope to escape amid the cement of a political power. This morning, watching the scarce news reporting on the happenings in Afghanistan, I sat and wondered, how could something so significant be slotted in between the weather and sporting updates.

A government has been overthrown, and a major political change has occurred in the world, but the world does not really see it that way. We acknowledge it, but do we really see the impact that this political change will not only have on the people of Afghanistan but also the remaining foreign troops and the rest of the watching world.

The analogy that I think of is this, that we are a family, and a member of our family has undergone a massive change, and the other family members have said, “It has happened, but it doesn’t really affect us, and we have bigger things to think about.”

I’ve said this on multiple occasions, but I do believe that as a society, humanity, human beings, we cannot move forward if not together. We cannot just celebrate and mourn the lives of a few. We cannot fight for some and not others. We cannot proclaim to have a “protect our own” mentality and then turn our backs, because human beings are our own, whether we acknowledge it or not.

A major problem we face is that we are aware of worldly problems but do not understand them. If you asked the average Australian university student about the conflict in Afghanistan and the influence of the Taliban, there is a good chance that they would not have much to say. I am as much a culprit of this as any. We can blame the government or the schooling system or news station or whoever, but, it is us. We have the privilege of knowledge at our doorstep, but we aren’t using it; most of us don’t even understand the power that comes with knowledge.

Questions will rise about the thousands desperate to flee the country. The topic of refugees has well and truly divided the population, so with thousands seeking refugee status from the shift in political power, where will the rest of the world stand? Where will Australia stand? We have a very clear divide of people who believe we should open our doors and we have people who question the peaceful refugee status, especially now with the control over a whole country by a terrorist group. The divide is here, and with neither side having more justification than the other, the decision of what Australia specifically will do, will come down to a choice. A choice that will leave our leaders in a position where the walls are closing in on them and the two paths in front of them don’t show light but simply a way forward; what is the lessor evil?

However, whatever happens moving forward with Afghanistan, American, Australia, the UK and everywhere else, because it is a worldly change that will affect us all, there are lemons being thrown our way, are going to move aside or are we going to try and make lemonade?

The world is full of exceptionally intelligent people, some in government and some doing work behind the scenes, but they are there. People who understand the conflict in Afghanistan, political distress, people who have dedicated their lives to studying the effects of terrorism and global relations. My hope for Australia, for Afghanistan, Denmark, France, America, and all other citizens of the world, is that our leaders join together. That they bring in people who are more knowledgeable in different areas and truly discuss what this shift in political power means, how it will affect the rest of the world and a plan of action. Just as a mother would put her ego aside for the better of her children, we need to do the same. Denial and avoidance are dangerous actions to have moving forward, actions that will leave us alone in our pursuit of a peaceful and harmonious society.

I could talk a lot about what we hold most important, but I’ll save that for another time when I decide to dip my toe in the whirlpool that is political discussion on social media.

So, I pose a final question to put into perspective the difference in how we view worldly events. If the Taliban had overtook the White House and the former political leaders and citizens of America were climbing upon planes to flee the country, how would that change our call to action and view on the current situation?

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