The recent (and ongoing) floods have brought to life ‘the good Aussie nature of mateship’. That’s a wonderful thing in a time of stress, grief and disbelief, particularly for the families and businesses involved.
There have been numerous stories of heroics and heartache but there is so much more to it than that. The repercussions are bouncing all over this great nation. Flooding further south, food shortages, businesses without stock (I heard even roof tilers can’t work because they can’t get tiles), businesses sent to the brink, delays, mishaps, isolation, ruined food, furniture and clothing, breakups and breakdowns.
But it’s not just the floods – there’s always something tragic happening.
I was told of a Chinderah family whose family burnt down during this season of rain and flooding. Spare a thought for them. The house was gutted so they’ve lost everything. At any other time the nation would rally around them but with the focus on flooding they’ve hardly rated a mention, let alone fundraising on their behalf.
There are many people in need for so many other reasons, cancer, homelessness, losing a child, parent or partner, accidents, ill-health – you name it.
For a variety of reasons I’ve been unable to get up to Brissy to join the Mud Army and I’ve felt guilty. I’ve also felt guilty for wanting to turn off the TV because all the flood coverage was upsetting me and I choose to be happy as much as possible. Watching Two and a Half Men gave me a laugh instead of tears. How many other people have felt like that? Compelled to keep watching but not wanting to see the horror any more!
I’m a firm believer in positive thinking, so to watch what’s been going and being bombarded with it day and night isn’t very positive. Okay, there are the uplifting stories but even they make me cry. I think I would be much more productive if I were happy and motivated. For example my friends have organised (with The Red Cross) a fundraising event on Australia Day at a local park where we regularly hold our Aussie Day BBQ. It will be a fun event but we’ll also be able to raise much needed funds.
The plan, my friend Lisa tells me, is, “We’ll fine people for missing a catch at cricket or they’ll have to pay when they get bowled out. Maybe they can put a dollar in the tin every time they swear or when they crack open a beer. It will be a fun way to help out.” Now that’s the Aussie spirit.
Yes, I’m proud that we’ve all rallied to help out the flood victims but we should be helping out all the time, not just a major crisis.
Little things count. Try these every day and you’ll be using Aussie Spirit:
- Smile at strangers (not a your-crazy smile but a nice-friendly one).
- Help a pensioner load their groceries into their car when you notice they are struggling (try not to break their eggs).
- Offer to volunteer at your local sporting club (you don’t have to be fit you just need to be able to flip a sausage or serve at the canteen).
- Have empathy – never judge someone especially if you don’t know them well enough to voice an opinion.
- Let someone have the car park you are both nudging into (come on just try it and see how good you feel – plus you won’t incite road-carpark rage).
- Praise someone about an accomplishment or tell them they look beautiful just to boost their spirits (especially your children).
- Find ways to make the world better eg. volunteer abroad or in an outback community.
- Be nice to animals and people alike.
- Watch out for tourist nearing a rip at your local beach.
- Help your neighbours when they are in need (not just cups of sugar but real friendship).
And if you just want to help with the floods here’s the into from the Today Show’s website:
Queensland flood appeal – Donate by visiting www.qld.gov.au/floods
Lifeline – www.lifeline.org.au or call 131114.
Goods collection – We are collecting donations of clothes, kitchen items (electrical items -must be new), shoes, linen, baby needs, small household items, toys.
DROP OFF ADDRESS: Rocky’s Own Transport, 60 FORMATION ST, WACOL.
DROP OFF OFF GOODS WILL COMMENCE: Friday 21st of January, 2011 and will continue until container is full (Monday to Friday only please)
Givit – www.givit.org.au
Wikifloods – www.wikifloods.com.au Grantham – www.granthamfloodsupport.com or www.facebook.com/granthamfloodsupport
Baked relief – http://bakedrelief.org/
Mud Army T-shirts – Limited edition – 2500 Mud Army shirts. On-sale next Wednesday at Suncorp Stadium for $20 with 100 percent of sales going to the flood relief appeal.
School supplies – www.schoolsuppliesforqldfloodedfamilies.net
Caravan of Angels – To offer financial support register at firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer groups – Contact Brisbane City Council on 07 3403 8888 or visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au
Individual volunteers – Register through Volunteering Queensland on 07 3002 7600 or visit www.emergencyvolunteering.com.au
Most of all smile and be positive so that happiness becomes catchy!
And to all our authors and printers caught up in the caos we wish you a quick clean up, fast recovery and happiness again.