Opinion

OPINION: The obligation we owe our Diggers

We owe our Diggers an immesurable debt for being able to live in peace in Australia.
We owe our Diggers an immesurable debt for being able to live in peace in Australia. Adam Hourigan

THERE is so much uncertainty in the world at the moment.

The UK has called a snap election as the government struggles to unify parliament following the Brexit decision.

The US and Russia have started to throw their weight around over the appalling use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Trigger-happy North Korea continues nuclear weapons testing and our PM Malcolm Turnbull this week recognised the Asian regime's actions as a threat to our country.

Fear is spreading throughout the world.

Country borders are more closely monitored, or closed, as refugees desperate to escape ongoing conflicts flee their countries in search of peace.

It can become overwhelming and I often wonder what I can do in the face of such powerful and aggressive gestures from governments across the world.

Our national identity was forged in battle on the shore of Gallipoli during the First World War. About 17 million soldiers and civilians were killed in that war.

Of those, 60,000 were Australian soldiers.

To put that in perspective, the Gabba's capacity is 42,000.

And thousands upon tens of thousands of Aussie servicemen and women have been killed in conflict since.

We owe all those fallen soldiers an immeasurable debt for the peaceful time we have encountered in Australia.

And with the good fortune most of our generations have enjoyed comes a responsibility to spread peace rather than fear.

In the face of all the uncertainty in the world at the moment, we are all still able to do this.

Bugler Malcolm Wood at the Coolangatta/Tweed Anzac Day dawn service. 
Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Tweed Daily News
Bugler Malcolm Wood at the Coolangatta/Tweed Anzac Day dawn service. Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Tweed Daily News Nolan Verheij-Full

Try giving a stranger a smile at the supermarket or buying someone a cup of coffee, or letting someone cut into line if they look busy and cannot wait.

And if you have made an enemy, understand the strength of silence.

You don't have to be their best friend, but there is no need to spread ill will publicly or engage in malicious acts against them.

Or, give forgiveness a go (this is something I struggle with, often).

It is so much harder to live a peaceful life than one filled with fear and anger. And some days I do it better than other days, as I'm sure you do too.

But we have to try.

We owe our Diggers that, at the very least.

Generosity ripples out.

Who knows the effect you may have on a wider scale just by a single act of peace?


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