Now that I’m back in the work force, I am reminded of just how annoying, rude and frustrating the human race can be at times. (Like when teenage boys feel the need to steal a carton of open rum, and then break the bottles all over the place.)
I mean really, there are days when it’s perfectly acceptable to state ‘people suck,’ and decide you will never waste your time with them ever again.
And then, there are other days, when the world surprises you. When people prove that they can care about others, and that compassion, grace and tolerance are not dead.
In the past week, there have been two things that have got me thinking.
The first was a plane crash.
Last Monday night, whilst I was busy preparing an IBOT video, a plane left a station in the Territory Outback, headed to somewhere a bit south of Darwin. It was a stormy night. In fact, in our opinion, it was just beautiful. We’ve had a horrible dry wet season this year, but last Monday brought with it torrential rain, wind and the lightning shows we Territorians love. It was beautiful and magical all at once.
Except it wasn’t.
Because miles away, those winds, and that rain, and that storm system caused a plane to go missing. A plane with 4 people on board: A husband, a wife, and their two daughters.
I discovered this when doing my late night Facebook trawl. Nine News Darwin had broken the news that a plane had failed to arrive, and rescue teams had been called.
I’m not sure why, but it was one of those stories that haunts you. Maybe because it was too close to home? Or because there were teens on board? Or maybe because the response on facebook was overwhelming?
People couldn’t care enough.
Over the next 24 hours, I kept checking my feed, hoping for good news, only to be disappointed.
I was working Tuesday night, when my boss got off the phone with his partner. They had found a body.
Soon it would be three, and then the search was called off the following day, with the last occupant still missing. A heartbreaking tragedy.
It was bizarre to see such an event unfold over Social Media. The family were quite well known in the Top End, and it seems everyone knew them, or knew someone who knew them. It was the kind of story that rocked everybody, and just made you so grateful for what you’ve got, because it could literally end just like that.
But it wasn’t just this story. In the course of that Tuesday night shift, my boss was also telling my about his sister’s efforts in raising funds and awareness for Autism Awareness Month. She had organised a disco, and so many people had been keen to jump in and help, she was literally inundated with offers, and trying to coordinate them all.
Hearing the story, I was inspired, I wanted to help. Not that there was actually anything I could do that would create a huge difference, but I was inspired by her dedication.
I don’t have a child or a family member with autism. I actually have very little experience with it myself, and yet I feel so passionately about raising it’s awareness. Why? Because of people like Kirsty, and Twitchy, and Coralie, and Kate, who have welcomed me into their experience with it, via their blogs. Beautiful, strong women, who are sharing their lives so that the rest of us, who live in blessed naiveté, can begin to have a small glimmer of understanding of what life is really like.
The efforts of this lady up here, filled me with joy, because although that money probably won’t effect my bloggy friends directly, I feel like it does. Because it raises awareness, and we all live in this global community where we are connected more than we ever were in the past. We can log on to another’s pain and heartbreak. We can be there though the tough times and the tragedy. We can send prayers, and positive thoughts and hope for the best, when the only thing left is hope.
Mrs Woog wrote a rather hilarious post about Community the other day, and how hers saved her from strewn rabbit entrails.
What I have witnessed in the last week has been the extreme of that. People, beautiful people, who some days are probably complete tossers and deserve a good slapping (don’t we all), banding together, to be a community, when that is all that is needed.
Tragically, there we still be plane crashes.
Realistically, there will still be autism.
But thankfully, there are still people. Beautiful, thoughtful, graceful people, trying to make their world a better place.
Have you witnessed any incredible acts of humanity lately?