The night I heard my state was flooding was the first night I ever went to bed knowing, without a doubt in my mind, that everything was going to change. Tomorrow we were all going to wake up and everything would be different. It was going to be worse. And I couldn’t fathom how we were possibly going to get past it or fix it.
Because somewhere between the sky scrapers and technological advances, we’d lost each other. We’d become a society quick to honk or give the finger to a complete stranger, but slow to help a friend. We had so many forms of communication and transport, but we’d isolated ourselves. We had all these brilliant tools at our disposal to reach out to people, but instead we had millions feeling alone. We lived in a world where people lived, literally on top of each other, shared the same building, and went for weeks without knowing someone had died on the other side of the wall. We weren’t neighbours. We just co-existed.
We were losing ourselves and then disaster hit. Children were being washed away. People were drowning. Everything families had worked all their lives to build was floating down the streets in pieces. We were homeless. But for the first time, we were not alone.
6 000 volunteer application forms were printed, 22 000 people showed up at evacuation centres to volunteer. Thousands of others wondered inundated streets helping strangers. So many were in their darkest hour and the outstretched hand in front of them belonged to someone they’d never met, never spoken to.
Although we’d lost most of our material possessions we’d gained something special. We were a community. A real one. To the very edges of that word. We were becoming true friends.
Lance Armstrong said what stood out to him was hearing that there were traffic jams to get into Brisbane. Because people all over Australia were coming to help. He said it stood out, because when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans there were no traffic jams.
This is my miracle. My moment of suspended disbelief. I just happen to share it with an entire nation.
And now I know something else for sure, without a doubt in my mind, we’re all going to be ok.My Story: Miracles