As I sit safely in my home today I have the “first-world” luxury of being annoyed by an all-day, planned power outage. I have a lot to do, day-in, day-out, and most of it relies on being able to use electricity whenever I need to.
However, maybe the timing of this is in fact ironically perfect. As I race to complete work projects which are fast approaching their deadlines (mere days away), I am struck by the realisation that this disturbance to my comfortable reality is perhaps better served to remind me of how much I (and many others) blindly take for granted every day.
I will have power by the end of the day. I have alternatives to stay up-to-date in the meantime. Had I needed electricity today for live-saving purposes in my home, that could have been arranged. I am secure in the knowledge that my home, my family and my friends are not under threat. So much so that it is hard to imagine the horrors of the civil war experienced by millions of Syrian refugees ever being possible at such a scale here in Australia. And, for that I am extremely thankful.
But I am not “blessed”, for I did nothing to deserve this good fortune, just as many millions of good, decent people did nothing to bring about their pain, suffering and loss. I am purely lucky that I was born where I was, when I was and into the family I was. And the same applies for many more people worldwide. That is not to say that we, too, are not good, decent people. Nor is it suggesting that those same people don’t deserve to be “blessed” for anything. Instead, I think some people are hasty in thanking their good fortunes on the notion of divine intervention without considering that this then appears to equate to others’ misfortunes somehow being caused by them.
The Syrian refugees now total over 4 million people. Some have resettled, many are trying to, and most are living hour-by-hour, day-by-day waiting for something to change and improve. And while they wait, they are forced to create makeshift existences where they can try to survive.
So, as I sit in silence today with a slight frustration to my usual first-world existence, I am taking a moment to remember that this disruption is a reminder of how lucky so many of us are, and of our obligation not to forget that this is not the existence that so many others have to call their “life”.