It’s taken me forty-three years to reach this moment. A lifetime of hopes and dreams, of death and despair.
But those years have been fundamental to who I am, to where I am, and who I want to be. Without the years of hard work, I would not be living in a home that my partner and I own outright. No mortgage that’s right, and with that the opportunity for both of us to take the time out and study for a year.
Without losing my Mother, I may still be living in Adelaide, still in a relationship with a man who was not right for me. I would never have moved to Canberra, met my best friends, and the man I was to fall in love with.
Without the long illness and death of my Father, I would not have moved to Melbourne, where I met so may good mates, and worked with some tremendous blokes.
For with every change in my life, I’ve been able to move on, and keep moving, even if at times its felt like life would never turn a corner, it has, and I’ve grown.
I recently had dinner out with my dear partner. It was our first meal out together, alone, for many months – some might even suggest over a year had passed since we had been out together alone. Waiting as my partner paid the bill, I overheard the conversation at the table behind us. The table had two beautiful young women at it, who were speaking about their suicide attempts. Yes attempts. You see both had tried on numerous occasions. One of their friends had succeeded, and they were together to talk about it. And it made me think, really think deeply how fleeting our lives are.
And that by our deeds and actions, we can help the people around us. A kind word offered, a hug when someone needs it, just listening when someone looks troubled, these we can offer, and should offer. Imagine a world where kindness and generosity are treasured, and not the material objects you have accumulated. Imagine the difference that would make to those around you, and the folk who are out there doing it tough, struggling with their burdens.
I believe we can change the world, one little gesture at a time.