I have been thinking a lot about the words of Behrouz
Boochani in ‘No Friends But The Mountains‘. Boochani is an asylum seeker detained in Manus Prison. His book, written via WhatsApp, has just won a top prize.
“We are not angels and we are not evil. We are humans, simple humans, we are innocent people.”
His words speak into our moralising of those we either romanticise or demonise.
(Think, for example, of the obsession in UK politics with so-called ‘hard-working families’, which is perhaps designed to be silently juxtaposed against another grouping of those designated ‘scroungers’.)
When I think of those I want to help, I often find myself trying to justify their worthiness. I then find it frustrating if they do things I think make them look unworthy.
But Boochani’s situation points helpfully to worthiness on the basis of our inherent identity as moral subjects – founded on our being humans, simple humans.