Em­pa­thy is in shor t sup­ply

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - MAILBOX -

“Cruel cross­roads” (Mar 28-29), the ex­traor­di­nar­ily shock­ing ac­count of John Tyson and the drown­ing of his part­ner and son in the Toowoomba flood, must surely have the au­thor­i­ties con­cerned with creeks and wa­ter­courses in built-up ar­eas. Flash flood­ing can be re­duced by chang­ing the way the wa­ter moves over the land­scape, as en­gi­neers and hy­drol­o­gists know. The fright­en­ing and hate­ful ha­rass­ment by peo­ple re­in­forces my be­lief that Aus­tralian so­ci­ety has changed for the worse; now that Chris­tian­ity is shunned by many, I be­lieve we have lost some hu­man­ity. What has hap­pened? Eva Camp­bell, Welling­ton Point

Matthew Con­don pro­vides us with an up­date to this story, which makes ap­palling read­ing. I ask my­self if we live in a coun­try that val­ues fair­ness and jus­tice. Blake Rice, who as a 10-year-old had just lost his mother and brother, was bul­lied and bashed, and the tor­ment con­tin­ued af­ter he and his dad re­lo­cated. The close fam­ily unit is close no more. And John Tyson, still griev­ing for his wife and son, is des­per­ate to see jus­tice done, to see his wife’s good name re­stored. It ap­pears that this fam­ily has been shame­fully treated. We have to care. Mar­garet Kloos­tra, Goodna

My heart goes out to John Tyson. What I can’t be­lieve is the cru­elty that caused peo­ple to di­rect abuse at his fam­ily. What has gone wrong with our so­ci­ety to­day that en­cour­ages some peo­ple to be­have in such a heart­less man­ner? I’m sure that through the 1950s and ’60s, peo­ple were kin­der to one an­other. I feel dis­cour­aged for my grand­chil­dren grow­ing up in to­day’s world. Glenda Forster, New­mar­ket I found the story of John Tyson to be ut­terly heart-wrench­ing. Ob­vi­ously for a hard-work­ing, kind and hum­ble man to suf­fer such a dread­ful dou­ble tragedy is dif­fi­cult enough to be­hold. But then to hear of the be­hav­iour of some of the mem­bers of the com­mu­nity he con­trib­uted to; what kind of an­i­mals are oc­cu­py­ing our world? And now I hear that this man, who paid his taxes and tried to of­fer his skills for the bet­ter­ment of oth­ers, can­not get some proper help from the gov­ern­ment to res­ur­rect his shat­tered life. This story is an ex­am­ple of what a shame­ful place Australia, and in­deed West­ern “civil­i­sa­tions”, have be­come. Dy­lan White, Doo­nan

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