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Proud to be an aussie

The past week has been an extraordinary one. They say that during dark times a persons character is revealed and I believe that this past week we have seen the most unbelievable support and unification of Australians as we stand together to support those affected by the Victorian bushfires.

I, like many people, have been affected personally by the fires. There is one friend of mine who lived in Kinglake West who I cannot contact despite my best efforts and the assistance of the Red Cross. I can only hope and pray for his safety and for the safety of his family.

Update: I am very pleased to report that Dale Platek and his family are safe. You may remember that Dale recorded some podcasts for our listeners on the VCE help website While I haven't spoken to him directly (I spoke with his daughter) they are OK.

At times like these we can wonder whether our efforts can actually make a difference. Of course it can...and the following story is often used to remind us that we can.

The Starfish Story - adapted from The Star Thrower. by Loren Eiseley (1907 - 1977)

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one." As found at:

We can all make a difference to the lives of others. It could be in the form of a donation through the Red Cross. Volunteering at a call centre or even signing up to donate blood. Anything that you can contribute can and will make a difference. I'm so proud to be an aussie. How about you?

Cheers,

Heath

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