“There is a saying in Tibetan, “Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.”
No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” ~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama
(All quotations in this piece are referenced from His Holiness The Dalai Lama)
Source: Brisbane Times
They say that when we go through difficult circumstances there is always learning that comes from it. After the rain there is always a rainbow.
The continuous footage and updates of the current floods that are swallowing the whole Queensland state, the northern aspect of our wonderful country are heartbreaking and mind-boggling. Seeing the Queensland premier, the prime minister and emergency service spokespeople takes me back to that searing day in February 2009. When roaring flames and walls of fire ripped through my beloved state. Although I was not in close proximity to the event and was not personally involved or affected by this tragedy it distressed me. Black Saturday has been burnt and etched into people’s being and has left its mark on the psyche of the whole state of Victoria.
At that point in time it was a devastating initial 24 hour period with a gut wrenching week that followed extending out to months. Continuously my mind wandered back to the people in these areas whether they were coping in all aspects. Psychologically- I looked to provide a service but being with a small family I was unable to relocate to “ground zero” and therefore it was logistically nonviable.
These types of thoughts are occurring throughout Australia at this point in time and I know that we can all pull together and be directed to the most appropriate places that will provide support.
Watching the coverage from the media, seeing press conferences with regular updates and instruction, seeing social media sites of twitter and facebook filled with commentary and important information is encouraging.
I think the most important insight and reflection to come from this and for the Victorian Bushfire survivors, support agencies and government organisations and most importantly those who lost their lives in one of Victoria’s darkest days; is that Queensland have been able to act swiftly and immediately to stream line their efforts and resources in dealing with this natural disaster because of the reflections, investigations and recommendations of Black Saturday.
I do not take away from the fact that from down here it appears the Queensland Government headed by Premier Anna Bligh are doing an outstanding job. What is a stark contrast between the two horrifying events is that the Queenslanders are having to sit and wait. Just because the rain has stopped does not mean the floods recede. I also know that them having experienced similar floods in 1974 that a reference point is available from Queensland’s own natural disaster history and that this information is also assisting decision-making. But what is important is that knowledge and information is power and the Victorian losses in 2009 have not been futile.
I truly believe that while we have the experience of heartache and difficult situations and we may not know why we are facing such a trying time ultimately the reasons will be revealed. For the people of the bush fire affected areas it has now been revealed their heartbreaking situation has assisted in how to respond to such crisis of a major scale in an effective way- rescue efforts, information gathering and distribution, psychological response, aid relief and priority work and support services required to maintain calm in the face of panic, worry and exhaustion.
“Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.”
As Premier Anna Bligh’s comment is regularly repeated “it might be breaking our hearts at the moment but it will not break our will”. This adversity will show each and every one of us a piece to our soul. Those affected by this experience whether it be in Queensland or the towns now in New South Wales. Whether it be those on the front line or their family or friends supporting them; know that we are all thinking of you and ‘praying’ – I am using this term that can be used interchangeably with whatever term you use or belief you may have.
For those this is bringing back haunting memories for, I hope you have support. For those needing support now or wanting to support I have attached links at the bottom of this post.
Queensland, sending you strength, hope and energy to deal with what still has to come. May there be rainbows upon rainbows after your rain. All of Australia is here for you. As his holiness the Dalai Lama shares, “It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.”
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