I guess you have all seen and heard the news about the fires that are ravaging our parched country here in Australia. I don’t want to inundate you with yet more images and stories of the devastating losses to property, human and animal lives.
So many stories are emerging of the good, the bad and the downright ugly. The looters. The scammers. The ones who deliberately light yet more fires.
People are venting their anger. Looking for who to blame. And it is not a surprising reaction to extreme trauma and unbearable grief. Our Prime Minister is copping a lot of it.
What is also emerging is a groundswell to move away from that and begin to focus on community and unity. So many unsung heroes are digging deep to help. Much needed overseas assistance and donations are pouring in. And here in Australia – here in our small town of Adelaide. People are galvanised into action. To bring relief and help in any way they can.
Firefighters are being provided with much needed food and water. Local restaurants are providing their commercial kitchens and staff to prepare food. Businesses are donating the ingredients. Volunteers are baking round the clock and making sandwiches. Transport companies are providing their vehicles and drivers to deliver them. People are putting out containers of water in their yards for the animals. It is hot. Water is scarce out there for animals to quench their thirst.
I found this on Facebook –
“1. The ringtale possum that ran to the firefighter and climbed up onto him, finding safety in his helmet. That same firefighter dropped off the possum to the station and then raced to a house where he dragged a man out because he was almost killed in the house fire.
2. The kangaroo that was raised by a family when it was young, released into the wild when it was old enough only for it to return years later racing into the family home and finding safety in their lounge room, the same one it was raised in.
3. The Aussie spirit of sharing your house with strangers and helping those who need support. This is a story that is common in every community, it’s just rarely reported.
4. Sikh volunteers driving 700km to assist and cook meals for those impacted by the bushfires as they said they ‘came to Australia with only a bag on their back and wanted to return the favor as they knew what it was like to have nothing’.
5. A group of mates drove 10 hours to support the Willawarrin community impacted by bushfires and the community ‘adopted’ them being grateful for the meals and support they provided, supplying everything – from food to all the cooking equipment.
6. Firefighters in SA saving 6 koalas and finding them safety in a nearby house.
7. Local firefighter Kale Hardie-Porter leaving a note for the family whose property they saved and found shelter in that home, writing ‘p.s we owe you some milk’ – this post went international and showed the positive impact of one kind gesture
8. IFAW koala bear detection dogs searching for any koalas that survived the bushfires
9. Firefighters saving a pine tree that locals decorate every year for Christmas. Locals who have had the tradition for the last 7 years thought the tree would be gone, but firefighters chose to save the tree which might be small for some, but to a community impacted by the bushfires, it was something positive for them to reflect on
10. RFS Commissioner Fitzsimmons displaying amazing leadership and support. He has worn his heart on his sleeve, spoke with the families and friends of those who sadly lost their loved ones to the fires and showed up each day to get the job done.
11. Or the Navy coming in to rescue and await evacuating those stranded, even allowing their pets to come on board.
You can choose to focus all your energy on one man, spread hate and anger – but really what are you achieving? Be sad – yes. Be disappointed – yes. Put that energy into the voting ballot next election if you wish.
But don’t take away the good stories that are coming out of a horrible situation. Don’t poison your family and friends newsfeed with such anger and hate.
Focus on the things that are getting thousands of Aussies through this tough time – kindness, love and support.”
Pray for rain