Friday, February 4, 2011

The Aussie Spirit

I love how parochial we Australians get in times of disaster when we pull together and help each other. The never ending media coverage on the recent floods and the even more recent storm of the century, has strongly focussed on the efforts of people in assisting other people in times of need. Strangers helping strangers and neighbours helping neighbours. Everyone pitching in to alleviate the suffering and clean up the mess. And all those people who weren't able to physically help out have donated huge amounts of money. Unity in suffering.

(By the way, if you didn't give anything you are a bad Australian, an uncaring, and mean spirited person. But don't worry the flood levy might still extract your contribution.)

The Aussie spirit of helping your mate has been frequently mentioned and continually held up and celebrated as though it is unique. As though it is a thing which lives in all of us and bursts forth when required. We must feel great sorrow for people in other countries when they face disasters because the only people who rush to their rescue are Australians. And if we don't charge in to save the day then they are all damned. The only people who give money are Australians because we are the most generous people on the planet. Praise the Aussie spirit. Go Australia.

Too much? Sure but, obviously Australians aren't the only ones who help their neighbours. It does add to the feelgood vibe post catastrophe though, and that's okay. Of course, people help each other in times of need. People even risk their own lives for others. People are certainly capable of generosity, goodness and sacrificial love. This is excellent and praiseworthy but it's not some mystical Aussie Spirit, or even the so called human spirit. These characteristics that are manifested in troubled times are Godly characteristics. They originate with God. We can be generous and good and we can risk our lives for each other because that is what we were designed to do. Made in the image of our Creator who is the ultimate source of all that is good.

Let's celebrate goodness by all means but is it too much to ask that we give God some credit? Rabbitting on about alleged triumphs of the human spirit stinks of conceit when we exclude God and claim divine attributes for our pitiful selves. When was the last time you gave God a bit of glory and praise?

1 comment:

  1. An excellent post David. It's about time God was given the credit due to Him....BUT, it's one thing to point this out to Christians, and another entirely to convince the media, or those out there that want to believe otherwise. How can we get the message across??