How to turn catastrophe into advocacy - learning from the Australian Wildfires
We’re hearing it, we’re feeling it, we’re living it. The deepest form of pain and helplessness. This is the reality for Australia and anyone across the globe witnessing the absolute horror of the Australian Wildfires, which are engulfing our nation, have killed millions of our wildlife and have caused acres upon acres of our beautiful land to turn to ash.
The constant updates of:
“A crisis”, “Koala’s are functionally extinct” “Australia’s Wildfires have claimed over 20 lives” “500 million animals dead”
are enough to send you into a vulnerable spin.
However, I’m here to tell you to stop for a moment. Put your right hand to your left side of your chest. Feel...that’s your heartbeat. We are alive and for as long as we are breathing and safe, we can positively react! We are in control of the metamorphose, that is, the next stage of this humanitarian crisis.
Having said that, it’s the way in which we react that remains so critical.
Firstly, I’m here to tell you that my enlightenment into taking action comes from a traumatic episode of my own self-guilt. How could I sit in the comfort and safety of my own home, my own car, surrounded by my own safe and comfortable family while other’s are out there fighting for their own and other’s their lives, homes and animals? How could I watch my country burn to smithereens while going on with my daily life? These thoughts and more were enough to send me into a crumpled mess, curled up on the floor in a fetal position.
The thing is, I know I’m not the only one who feels this helplessness from a distance. And that’s not to say we haven’t done something about it, money and physical goods have all been donated, we continue to share updates to raise awareness and yet it still doesn’t feel like enough.
However, we must step back to really look at how, as a collective, we have been called in a huge way to connect and transform. Take Alchemy, for example, the ancient art of turning native metal into gold, and a tradition that we would be indebted to revive at this time.
In the words of French Philosopher and acclaimed alchemist Jean Dubuis "Alchemy is the art of manipulating life, and consciousness in matter, to help it evolve, or to solve problems of inner disharmonies." This is a time of devastation for all of us, but in the art of Alchemy, we must transform our souls, our minds and our hearts to create treasure at our core, even at a time of catastrophic loss.
Having the ability for us to come out of this tragic time requires us to change the way we think about suffering and crisis… and then act.
We need to come from a place of love.
The reason why so many of us are in pain over these horrific numbers, facts and images is because we feel responsible and helpless at the same time. Because watching this crisis inundate social media and the news makes us desperately want to look away, but we can’t.
Globally, ‘we are one, but we are many’ and by having enough love in our hearts to cultivate a community of compassion amidst suffering will help us conquer anything.
We need to become educated.
We need to get involved.
We need to correspond with the right people.
Get involved with activities that promote protecting our earth – donate, attend protests, sign petitions, and raise our voices to those who NEED to hear them. Not in anger… in love.
Below are some ways to help with this crisis:
Donations to the NSW Rural Fire Service directly benefit the volunteer firefighters on the frontline. To help, you can contact your local brigade directly or donate on their website.
To help Victorian firefighters, you can donate to the state’s Country Fire Association website.
WIRES - Wildlife
To help the NSW wildlife victims, you can donate to the NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) emergency fund.
HELP LOCAL BUSINESS
Athlete, motivational speaker and burns victim, Turia Pitt, urges that we buy from local businesses who have been caught up in this crisis.
She said, “once these fires are finally ‘over’, it won’t be over for many of the local businesses in fire-ravaged towns.”
Check out @spendwiththem, a place to feature businesses in fire-affected towns.
CONTACT YOUR LOCAL MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
@annarose_richards has done the leg work and written a powerful letter demanding climate change action. Here
She said ‘ I need to know you are ACTING. I need to know you are printing the letter (or writing your own!) & sending it to your Federal MP.
Because know this.
Politicians can (& do) ignore a pissed off, albeit loud on social media minority.
Politicians can (& do) ignore a pissed off, albeit loud on social media MAJORITY.
BUT; what Politicians cannot & WILL not ignore, is a mobilised electorate of voters, impassioned enough to send a letter respectfully demanding change on a particular subject; at the same time.
They want & need your vote, & they are an elected representative to represent you, the constituent, in parliament. IF you aren’t mobilising & speaking directly to them though, YES they tow the party line, but that changes, it HAS to change if their electorate is mobilised, engaged, and active in voicing their concerns as a mass crowd.
Our fellow Australians NEED our immediate help, which I have said in every post I have done, which is donations, yes. But I am being the voice for the long term of our environment & nation (& asking you are too).
Let’s do this Aus. Our people & its wildlife depend on it’