image by Steve Bunk

In Australia we expect summer disasters, usually in the form of drought and fire. The floods in Queensland and now Victoria, have totally overwhelmed this country. We’re in panic mode. Who would have thought it?

Just when you think Australia was doing fine, bam! another natural disaster. It is a wild, wild country we live in. Being naturally optimistic people, we build our lavish houses on the banks of rivers and on the edge of cliffs and on sand. Perhaps it’s denial?! Sometimes we’re ‘right mate’ and other times our foolishness breaks our heart. Though, you’d think the houses built away from waterways would be right! It’s mindboggling.

It is a wake up call to our cushy Australian lives. An inland tsunami, a flooded city and really, the death toll could have been much higher. It is devastating and I feel for the families affected. However, there’s a touch of inequality in the ‘care’ factor in such times. Yesterday it was Brazil’s turn for ‘floody hell’. Four hundred dead, rivers of mud decimating buildings, destroying all in its path. I got me wondering, does Brazil have ’round the clock coverage on all channels?

Thousands of lives are lost every year in natural disasters around the world and we get a thirty second snippet on our news, if we’re lucky. Children die of preventable diseases every day and we don’t really know or dare I say really care about them because they are poor. Because they are in our peripheral and not in our face. I’m not pointing the finger at others but at me too! It’s hard to understand or help everyone suffering in the world. And it’s easier to simply switch off.

Does it begin with our new broadcasters? Our journalists? Big business? Does our culture have to change? Our laws? What is it that will bring equality to humanity? It’s simply not fair.

Wherever there is suffering there should be an outpouring of generosity and love. Corrupt governments should not be tolerated by anyone and the poor should be lifted up. But they’re not. After one year, Haitians are still living in temporary housing. Babies are being orphaned by AIDS in Africa, still! People are sleeping on park benches right across the world, still! While the supermodels and merchant bankers live it up in their 5 star luxury, there are people who are dying for that money to go towards micro-loans and the like. There are answers, there’s just not a lot of action.

Zooming back into Queensland, you cannot help but feel helplessly sad for these people. Especially the ones who have no idea where their families are. Let’s hope and pray that by some miracle they’re all together safe and sound.

image by kingbob86