As I watched my home town drown in a sea of murky brown water this week, it was impossible not to become emotional. Watching story after story of sadness and hardship emerge has to take its’ toll on anybody that has an affinity with any of the affected areas.
This is not the first time I have seen Brisbane swallowed by water – as a teenager I watched the streets fill with water as they made their way inexorably towards Moreton Bay. This time, however, the enormity and scale of the disaster is much, much greater as 75% of my home state, Queensland, has been affected by flood over the past few weeks.
The feeling of helplessness takes over because, despite all mans’ cleverness and ingenuity, there is nothing you can do to stop the water. Nature will take its’ course and the water moves into streets, buildings, houses and lives. And all of them will never be the same again.
As the water rises, spirits fall. Watching a lifetime of work and possessions literally float away is a devastating event and I am fortunate enough to count myself amongst those who have never had to endure that devastation. However, watching friends and fellow Queenslanders suffer that fate, is heartbreaking. And for those who have lost loved ones as a result of this flood, one can only imagine the sadness they are enduring.
Then the water begins to recede and it is now that human spirit comes to the fore. Queenslanders have a very proud heritage of being resilient, ready to stare adversity in the face, roll up their sleeves and get on with the job at hand. News images today prove that nothing has changed. As the cleanup starts, strangers suddenly become friends and appear out of thin air to help those that have been affected. Thousands of volunteers have arrived ready to work for no reason other than they want to help those less fortunate than themselves. It is the true definition of altruism – do something for someone else expecting nothing in return.
I am eternally grateful that these floods did no more than inconvenience me. My family, some of whom live in Brisbane, are all safe and dry and our home on the Sunshine Coast had no more than a small amount of water enter the garage. During this week, I have paused to realise how fortunate I really am.
We would like to help all those that have been affected and as such, Zoe is anchoring a live video feed bringing entrepreneurs from around Australia and the world in a training webinar fundraiser – “Returning from Adversity – Flood Relief Fundraiser for Entrepreneurs”. The training is online but the live feed will be anchored in Brisbane, and all proceeds raised will be donated to the Red Cross for distribution to those that need it most. This is a great opportunity to help out and participate in some great training. Go to http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=138372796223994 for details and we look forward to sharing a great day and helping those that have endured so much.