Many people have a solid, ingrained resistance to change, particularly when that change doesn’t align with the way they think.

Our understanding and perception of the world around us is, to a large degree moulded by the culture of our age. When we look back to another age, another time and culture, we are often horrified by how the reasoning of the proponents of change has been trivialised, debunked or ignored. Consider the campaigns to end child labour in factories, for the right for women to vote, for an end to the slave trade.

From my desk I have a view across a small valley to the Mt Kembla coal mine, the site of the worst disaster to occur on land in Australia’s history. Ninety-six men died when the mine exploded on 31 July, 1902. When the blast occurred, schoolchildren rushed to their classroom windows and saw a pall of smoke billowing from the mine entrance. Many of the children had fathers working in the mine. One can only imagine what those children experienced in their hearts and minds at that moment.

Until then, the mine owners had lived in a paradise of fools, where the myth that the Mt Kembla mine was the safest in the world was so often repeated to justify unsafe work practices, that it was accepted by them as a self-evident truth. Those who worked at the coalface, rather than in the company board rooms, had a different point of view, but were ignored.

There is a comparable divergence of views between parents who have had their children legally removed from their care, and the judges who administer the law ‘in the best interests of the children’.

Similar also, is the different perspective of these parents without children who are dictated to by formula-loving bureaucrats on the meaning of child support, and the legislators who inhabit an ideological paradise where self-interest and a cultivated ignorance breeds a contempt for supposedly non-complying ‘delinquent dads’.

I look forward to the time when society looks back with horror at the injustices of an age when the displacement of parental authority and responsibility by officialdom was accepted with compliance and tacit approval.

[Photo by Lindy Baker on Unsplash]

About the Author: Roland Foster

Roland Foster is an non-custodial father, separated since 1997, with 5 young children aged between 6 and 14 years. Roland is a passionate father and an active social reformer who believes Australia's current laws are contributing to the creation of our fatherless society.

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