I think you will all agree with me when I say the strength and spirit of every Australian has been tested in this last week. Firstly with the Martin Place siege and secondly with the tragic deaths of 8 innocent children in Cairns in Far North Queensland.
I don’t think anyone could say that they have not felt profound grief following these two events. Many people, including myself, have shed tears and questioned why these terrible tragedies have occurred. Even though I am not directly affected by these two events I still feel a need to express my grief at the senseless death of 10 people, but at the same time express how grateful I am that I am safe and the people I love most – my family and friends are safe as well.
I still consider Australia to be a very safe country when compared to some other places around the world and nothing will deter me from exploring as much of it as I possibly can.
Now, especially with Christmas rapidly approaching, we should take a moment to give thanks for all we have. It is also the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with our loved ones or maybe even perform a ‘Random Act of Kindness’. There are so many little ways that we can do this. Here are just a few suggestions.
- Hug someone you love and tell them how much they mean to you.
- Pay for a cup of coffee for someone; put some extra money in a parking metre or carry someone’s shopping to their car etc.
- Get up early and watch the sun rise.
- Make time to go outside and kick the footy with the kids.
- Surprise someone with something homemade – a cake or some biscuits.
- Have a cleanout and donate some unwanted toys or clothes to charity.
- Introduce yourself to a neighbour you don’t know.
- Check up on an elderly neighbour, friend or relative. Drop in for a cuppa or give them a ring.
- Invite a friend or friends to dinner.
- Organise a BBQ at your local park and invite your friends along.
- Go for a walk as it starts to cool off – around your neighbourhood or along the beach.
- Go for a drive and check out some Christmas lights. Some people go to so much trouble.
- Say ‘Yes’ when the kids ask you to do something when you would normally say ‘No’.
- Watch a movie that makes you laugh – ‘Grown Ups’ springs to mind as one that makes us laugh every time we watch it.
- Pack a picnic and go for a drive somewhere you have never been before.
- If you know someone who you think may be struggling at the moment, offer whatever help you think you can manage.
And yes – all of the above things can be done no matter where you are. Whether you are at home or set up in a campground somewhere, you can still appreciate what you have and share that with those you love.
Merry Christmas everyone and may 2015 bring peace and joy to all.
If you or someone you know is struggling to cope please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14