Lowering the heat of fiery debate

Raelene HallMidwest Times
Residents look on as flames burn through bush earlier this month in Lake Tabourie, NSW.
Camera IconResidents look on as flames burn through bush earlier this month in Lake Tabourie, NSW. Credit: Getty Images

I’ve backed off social media recently.

It’s not just the horrendous pictures of people’s lives being destroyed and animals suffering in the bushfires, but the bitterness and spite among people regarding the cause of fires, the hatred towards our country’s leader and those who would take advantage of everyday Australians through scams and looting.

What benefit is there in sitting at a keyboard typing vitriolic messages? Will it help in any way? No! So why waste the time. Why not do something practical to assist?

Lord knows, there is plenty of need out there.

Australians have always been amazing at pulling together in a crisis — it is part of who we are — yet in this time of disaster and misery for so many, it feels like we aren’t united like we normally would be.

That there are two sides in this disaster and the war between them is taking place on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms.

We have support coming from all over the world in our time of need. Let’s recognise, acknowledge and applaud that.

Let’s honour our volunteer and career firefighters, who surely must have earned the title of “heroes” fairly and squarely.

Look around and be grateful to every man, woman and child who has donated to the various charities and fundraisers, whether they are a billionaire or a student.

It’s not the amount they give, it’s the willingness to do so without having to have a levy enforced.

I’m not suggesting people don’t have the right to their opinions, but I don’t think now is the time and place to throw it all out there.

Not when people and animals are dying, when towns and dwellings are being burnt to the ground, when every minute of every hour of every day someone is going the extra mile to help a fellow Aussie.

Let’s step away from the keyboards, take a deep breath and support fellow Australians in their time of need.

Let’s leave all the debate and diatribe for another time and in a better forum than social media.

Our first priority must be to support those trying to get the fires under control and those whose lives have been affected.

Causes and solutions can be debated at a time of less heightened emotion, when cooler heads will hopefully prevail.

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