--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "audreydc1983" <audreydc1...@...>
> Yep, I agree with you - the situation in Australia is a whole
different (although somewhat similar) can of worms.

> But - honestly - couldn't John Howard have just issued a statement to
the Aboriginal people acknowledging the "mistakes" of the past? If I
were Australian, I would BALK at him "apologizing" for me, or white
people in general for what happened then.

Anyone can "apologize" for anyone to anyone if one interprets
"apologize" to mean that one is aware of and feels compassion (or wants
to develop empathy and caring) for all those native peoples who were
killed off, robbed of their lands, enslaved and degraded.

In inter-group relations usually one does not *feel* much compassion for
persons outside one's national, racial, ethnic, religious, genetic,
friendship or kinship group.

> The sad truth is that the Aboriginals (like the Native Americans, and
countless other peoples) were overcome by force: better technology and
firepower. That can't be changed - especially by a "sorry" from one
white politician.

The "sorry" means that we recognize and empathize with the pain and
suffering of all humans - and that can help establish our connection
with all humans.

> I asked myself, about a year ago, WHY our ancestors had better
technology (and therefore an advantage in conquering less developed
nations)in the first place - and with luck, I stumbled upon this book,
called 'Guns, Germs, and Steel' in my local library:

> http://www.amazon.com/Guns-Germs-Steel-Fates-Societies/dp/0393317552

> It's a fascinating read. We already know the "how" of it happening,
but here's an interesting theory as to the "why" of it all.

> It's good chatting with you all! ~Aud

I think it attempts to underscore the 'how'; the 'why' lies in human
motivation and intentions. As Buddhism reminds us, all that we think,
feel and do is driven by our motivations and intentions, conscious and
unconscious. Guns and steel are quite harmless without the human tribal
tendency to profit at the expense of those outside one's group.

It's good chatting with you too, Aud.  ~ED

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