Last night I got a comment on my post about Friday’s predicted (and subsequent) record breaking heat. My post said I enjoyed the heat and yes, I’ve complained a lot about rainy weather in the past because I enjoy the beach. The comment suggested in quite an enthusiastic manner that I was being very selfish given that there are 100+ bushfires burning in Australia and hundreds of homes have been lost. The tone of the comment was very harsh saying that I was privileged and naive because I live close to the coast and have no real risk of losing my home to a bushfire. That’s very true. I live near the coast because it’s where I grew up and where I have the best work prospects, like the vast majority of Australians.
Don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly understand what the commenter was trying to say but I also disagree. I’m far from the only person who has complained about bad weather. The same people that have lost their homes have also no doubt complained about rain and cold in the past. This post is not to have a go at the person commenting but to perhaps point out that while it’s tragic and horrible that people are losing lives and homes to fires, whenever something like this happens anywhere in the world, the rest of the world has to continue. Maybe that sounds harsh, but I’m going to further explain by turning the scenario around. If I was a rural farmer suffering through a drought, would it be as insensitive to be thankful for rain because people in Queensland lost their lives in floods two years ago? Are parents of healthy children not allowed to enjoy their children’s laughter and good health because someone else has tragically lost a child or isn’t able to have one?
By the logic of the commenter, all the couples that I’ve watched get married with a huge smile on their face should try and tone down their enjoyment of their big day because I as a gay man, am not allowed to enjoy the same rights as they do? As that gay man, not allowed to get married I would never ask that. If I was one of the hundreds of families who had lost my home in a bushfire, the last thing I’d be thinking about is having a go at people living near the beach for enjoying the sunshine. I’d be focusing on getting my life back together. When a tragedy occurs like these fires, I try and donate to bushfire appeals, flood appeals and the other emergency relief appeals when I can afford it, but I can’t be expected to stop my life and finding joy in things because someone else is having a terrible time of it.