Throughout history, we see that adversity brings forth goodness. And although there are always some who behave badly, they are usually the exception. In a way, bad times give us all permission to be kinder and to submit our wants to the greater good.
This isn’t a recent phenomenon. In the early years of the first century, Seneca the younger is reputed to have said: “The good things of prosperity are to be wished; but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired.” More recently, Billy Graham noted: “Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has..” And last (for this post), the Roman poet Horace commented, “Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it.”
Countless studies show that overcoming adversity helps to build resilience, makes us stronger and gives us more confidence.
Adversity also makes us kinder.
Black Saturday bushfires
In 2009, on 7 February, around 400 bushfires were burning in Victoria, leading to the loss of 173 lives. This tragedy elicited unparalleled support from around Australia and from across the globe. Strangers offered help to strangers. Neighbours took care of neighbours. The banks came to the party promptly, along with offers of financial and other support from individuals donating to disaster funds, and companies such as BP, Wesfarmers, Coles, Kmart and the Nine network.
Nothing too extraordinary about the support being offered. Heartbreaking to read were stories of fire victims refusing the money and support so it could go to someone who needed it more. It showed true selflessness. And stories of victims of the recent floods in Ingham in Queensland giving to those affected badly in the bushfire-affected areas must have touched the heart of all but the stoniest.
Queensland floods 2010-2011
Fast forward a couple of years and much of southeast Queensland (but low-lying suburbs of Brisbane in particular) were inundated with a combination of heavy rain and water being released from Wivenhoe Dam. This disaster also attracted widespread support from within the affected communities and from government authorities and private businesses. Again, to be expected. What was unexpected was those bushfire victims from 2009 in Victoria asking for their support payments to be diverted to the Queensland flood victims. In the words of one who did so, “They need it more than we do.”
Throughout the pandemic, we’re reading of selflessness, of community support, of everyone from artists to gym instructors offering their time to entertain us and save us from ‘cabin fever’. We hear of innumerable acts of kindness. One friend of a friend reported that her landlord of the premises she occupies had offered her three months’ free rent. When she had a little spare cash, she sent it to her landlord, who rejected her offer, saying that he was happy with the arrangement. “Take my offer and accept it. There is no expectation for you to ever pay back or reimburse these three months. Ever! I want to help support the longevity of your business. Happy Easter!’ Most large apartment buildings and neighbourhoods have rallied to help the more vulnerable in our community.
We know the Federal Government is offering income support. What we also know is that many who are technically eligible for assistance won’t take it.
There was a poignant comment posted on Facebook recently along the lines of, “When we get over this, do we want an economy or a society?” In our opinion, we have a society already, one that’s kind, where it’s clear we need connections, purpose and meaning.
We only need to remember our best selves.
How can we help you today?
While selling and buying isn’t on many people’s radar right now, we know that some of you have no choice. So just be reassured that we’re here to help – no obligations.