The Words of the Saver Family

Response To The Australian Floods: The Logic Of Love Overriding Self Preservation Instincts

Paul Saver
January 12, 2011

Living in the Ipswich area (a suburb called Goodna to be precise), beside the Brisbane River and upstream from Brisbane City, I have witnessed first hand, arguably the greatest natural disaster unfold in the history of Australia. 75% of the state of Queensland is directly flood affected.

My local shopping center is currently 7-10 meters underwater as I write. Fortunately our home is on higher ground and so out of reach of the flood waters.

Apart from being emotionally affected by observing scenes of devastation and seeing the shock and despair etched in the faces of those who lost their homes and especially those who lost loved ones, my mind has pondered the fact that this disaster along with disasters per se, tends to bring out the best and the worst in human beings.

The obvious worst features include looting of unattended homes and businesses and insurance fraud whereby for example, people were discovered deliberately parking vehicles in areas that were predicted to go underwater so they could put in bogus insurance claims.

The worst of human nature aside, lets focus on the best that humanity has to offer.

Officials were astounded by the number of people volunteering to help flood victims in a myriad of ways.

What strikes me as being very significant is the volunteer efforts of thousands of people, who normally in the course of their lives, do little to help others ie they do not belong to service organizations neither do they normally go out of their way to help any body, let alone complete strangers.

Yet, in the past few days these same people, have risked their lives to help save people by entering raging waters, have worked the whole night through filling sand bags or preparing food for hungry tired volunteers, tried to comfort those who are grief stricken etc etc. There are many reports of people helping neighbors they hardly ever speak to as well as total strangers from other communities.

"Why" you might ask? What causes ordinary people, unpaid, unskilled in relief operations, extend their heart and hand to perform such unselfish acts and sacrifice their own creature comforts for days and even weeks on end?

My answer is simple. People do such unselfish and heroic stuff because it is normal and human to do so. All those who willingly volunteer, do so because their heart is moved. Logic and reason that may say "look after yourself" gets overridden by the logic of love (i.e. a natural care and concern for the well being of another)

They are acting out from a heightened human state of consciousness, which may be rare, but normal nonetheless. In Unificationist terminology, it means people getting in touch with their original mind.

A powerful positive that can be drawn from disasters like the floods in Brisbane and Queensland is that it can enable people to reflect on what is most important and precious in their lives. And then not just to forget about it, rebuild their homes and lives and ignore the promptings of their heart. Rather to come to know and feel within, that a lifestyle of service to others is the norm for our lives and not a periodic occurrence borne out of circumstances.

I hope this post can inspire you to live your life for a purpose larger than self or to encourage you to continue living a life of service in whatever arena you have chosen.

PS Stay tuned for another post describing what my family is doing to help. 

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