We are so familiar with the news, with events that have a transient affect on our lives, that we appear almost forgetful as we wait eagerly for the next disaster to strike. How quickly the events that shocked us yesterday disappear from our screens, papers and radios. We return to our daily routines relatively unscathed by what we have witnessed, in some way the reality of the news has been stripped from our understanding. Yet for those personally affected, this is all very real. Life will never be the same. All that they had, cherished and held dear to them has disappeared, in one devastating blow.
In a similar way, we all have personal tragedies that others may know nothing of. These adversities shape our lives, choices and decisions. Choices formed as a direct result of the trial bring with them the opportunity to take a different direction, with an altered focus and perspective on life. One moment has the power to change our whole future. This event can cause us to capitulate or rise to a new level, where only victory over adversity is acceptable.
In this context we can learn from the experience of the Indigenous People of Australia, a people who at one point had it all taken away from them. Their life, their laughter, their family, their history and their culture. It is a testimony to the Aborginal People that so many survived, that their culture was not wiped out as was the intention. A testimony that perhaps can be attributed to their deep spiritual understanding which took a long time to be recognized.
‘When we first came here we thought we had found the only people in the world without a religion. Now we have learnt that they are among the most religious people in the world.’
(Friedrich Albert, Lutheran Hermannsburg Mission 1926 – 1962, quoted by Richard Broome, ‘Aboriginal Australians’)
Their belief in life, their oneness with nature, their respect for the earth is inherent in their belief in a miraculous life. As Einstein said:
‘There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is…’