February 12, 2009

Come together, right now

This week has been all about the bushfires. They are apparently the worst in Australia's history; there have been more lives lost than in any other disaster in Australia. There is a town where residents cannot return until the forensics experts have been through and cleared out all the dead bodies because they estimate that 1 in 5 of the townspeople died there.

There are no words to say how awful this is. How guilty and useless those of us not directly affected by the fires feel. What is interesting to me is how this makes people react: a friend is holding a sausage sizzle for his car club tomorrow night; the craft community is collecting donations of handmade goods for survivors, donating income from sales, holding fundraising auctions. There has been an outpouring of community spirit, many tales of everyday heroes, inspiring stories of survival.

What a shame it takes something so awful to inspire people to look after each other.

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