Wednesday, 23 February 2011

On my mind

The last few months have been very difficult for many people in my part of the world.  We've had the earthquake in Christchurch in September, floods and more floods in Queensland, northern New South Wales and Victoria.  There have been cyclones in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory and now another devastating earthquake in Christchurch.  I've kept silent during these catastrophes, not because I don't care but because many people were covering what was happening and I felt  the blogging world didn't need another post covering these things.  After this most recent earthquake in Christchurch I feel the need to say something.

I have found it incredibly distressing to see footage of the earthquake in Christchurch.  A beautiful city that is going through a second earthquake in 5 months just doesn't seem fair.  My thoughts go out to the people who have lost family, friends, homes, businesses and what they've known as their life.  I cannot begin to understand how the people must be feeling.  Maybe despair, terror, anger, frustration, grief, helplessness, anxiety and that is probably just the tip of the iceberg.  In the midst of these tragedies of the last few months, I've observed something very positive and I would to talk about.

  We may ask what can possibly be positive in the middle of chaos and loss?  Have you noticed how people pull together in a time of crisis?  We forget our differences, our colour, our race, our religion, our political alignment, whether we're rich or poor.   We just help each other.  Isn't this the most incredible thing?  Isn't this what makes or breaks us as a human race, whether we care about each other and help each other?  I was in awe of the volunteers who helped, are helping clean up after the Queensland floods.  They came with wheelbarrows, brooms, cleaning gear and a willingness to help.  I saw images of people lifting rubble in Christchurch to look for survivors (they weren't search and rescue experts).  Five strangers were working together to free someone in a car that had been crushed by rubble.  I am so inspired and grateful that we can find it in ourselves to help each other, comfort each other, give to each other and truly care for each other in these circumstances.

So when all is going well, when we are living our lives and going about our business, do we still feel the same way about our fellow man?  Are we willing to help someone we see in need whether that be pushing the shopping trolley to the car for a mother who is struggling with a baby and a toddler and it's raining or taking the time to assist an elderly person cross the road safely?  Do we reach up to the top shelf to get something for someone who can't reach?  Do we smile at people or even say hello?  Do we check on our neighbours to see if they're o.k.?  Do we phone someone who is grieving about a loss or not because we don't know what to say?  Do we put a few extra grocery items in our trolley for someone we know is suffering financial difficulties who could use a loaf of bread, a litre of milk, some fruit or other items such as non perishables?  What can we do everyday to make a difference to someones life, to let them know someone cares for them?  Does it take a tragedy to help us see that we need to care about each other every day?

We live very busy lives.  We have children, school drop offs and pick ups, sport activities, employment, travel time to work etc.  Can we spare a few minutes every day to show someone we care?  I think we can if we make ourselves aware, if we look outward and observe.  I know there are many people who are this way, it's a part of who they are.  I want it to be a part of who I am too.  It's rewarding, satisfying, encouraging and it makes you feel great.

If you are still with me here, thank you for reading.  I just had to get this out and down in writing.  Wishing everyone a lovely day with my thoughts going to those most in need.  

Anne  xx

11 comments:

Bayside Rose said...

I am with you 100% Anne. Well written and inspiring words. Thanks for 'gettig it out' Take care. Pam x

Bayside Rose said...

Sorry Anne typo- should be 'getting.'

Cheryl said...

Oh Anne. You have put it so well. It heartens me that the generosity and help shown to others, during the disasters, came over very strongly in the news coverage.

You are right. It is really good to examine how much we are there for others in the normal way. Food for thought.

Anonymous said...

You have put into words how many of us feel but do not put it on paper. Thanks.

Louise said...

Oh my goodness, I haven't seen the news this week so the first I heard of the earthquake was here in your post.

Your part of the world is having a terrible time lately and I have been thinking about the people there (I checked on google maps to see if there was anything heading your way too).

I have family in New Zealand but I don't think they are near the earthquake (I'd have to check a map to be sure, my geography is poor!)

I read your post to the end and thought it well written and inspiring so thanks for deciding to say something.

**Anne** said...

Thank you for your positive responses to my post. You never know how people will respond to this type of post, but I was compelled to write what I felt and am very glad I did.
Take care everyone,
Anne xx

Victoria said...

Listening to the news yesterday I felt we should be really happy. It was a day of dreadful news - earthquake in New Zealand, troubles of Libya, people killed by pirates - the list goes on. I say we should make the most of every moment of every day and heartfelt thoughts go to all those suffering around the world. x

Terrie said...

I love the way people pull together in times of crisis. I do think it's sad that it takes something 'big' to make us sit up and think about how we can help others. Like you said Anne, our lives seem so busy that we can overlook the small things that would make a difference - however the small things can be worth just as much as the big gestures we make.

Oh and Anne, I remember a parcel landing on my doorstep that lit up my day. So in my opinion you already have that part of you there. x

Jacquie said...

Hi Anne , just popped over here to say thankyou for all your lovely comments , glad I did .
Your post is certainly food for thought . It is too easy to keep your head down and not "see" others need .
Thankyou .
Jacquie x

Claire said...

Hey Anne, your post is brilliant and I had never really thought of this before.

Some of the day to day ways of helping others that you mentioned, I thought, yes, I do that, but why do I do it?

It comes from my upbringing, following my mum's example, stepping out of your comfort zone to help a stranger. It comes from having compassion for your fellow man, stranger or not.
It's too easy to walk past someone and not get involved, I don't want people staring at me, I don't want to make a spectacle of myself......

Sadly, these disasters bring out the worst of human nature as well as the best.

Food for thought Anne, I hope that what I learned from my mum, I can pass onto my son. That he will think of others in need or just smile at someone and maybe make their day.

Your post will no doubt make us all stop and think and hopefully go that little bit further to help others.

Claire :}

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

you are really something to put the human condition of acute suffering in such a clear way. Yes, in our everyday lives, Just a kind word, a batch of cookies, a hug even to show we care. So glad Clare sent me to read this.
All the best,
Julie