I wrote in a post…
“As humans we need a reference point to be able to make sense of, or attempt to understand things.
If you had never tried a nectarine and someone said, ‘it’s like a peach but smooth not fuzzy on the outside’, it would give you an idea of what it looks like, the texture, and the taste. The peach would be your point of reference, that is assuming you knew what a peach was.”
This week found me sitting at my computer with tears rolling down my face in disbelief – but not surprised. I wrote the following …
A little while ago I received a message telling me of a gym accident this morning that has left a young man in critical condition and fighting for his life. I have just hung up from a journalist wanting to know my thoughts on changes I had hoped to see in the industry after Ben’s incident.
My mind drifts back to a quote from an ex Queensland Law Society President in 2018,
“It’s not even so much about getting an answer to what happened on the night. It’s what’s going to be the answer that will stop this happening to someone else.”
Part of me sits here in disbelief at how significantly this news has rattled me. A sharp reminder that grief is not an isolated incident or designated period of time, it’s a forever thing.
Another part of me asks the question, ‘Yes! What HAS been done to prevent this happening to someone else?’.
My opening para of today’s post was a means for me to provide context, that I have some idea of what this young man’s family must be feeling. Whilst the specifics are patchy, I will never forget those days of watching, waiting, and wondering, what would happen to my gorgeous boy.
I have never disclosed a lot of the information I learned with regards to what happened in PCYC in September 2017 but let me say this.
Ben’s death was not an accident in the sense that it was preventable.
I believe we all have our own journeys and we (pre)decide how long we will remain on earth and how we will leave, but the fact remains that procedures were not followed and Ben’s death was a result of gross negligence. End of story.
While we remain a society that builds businesses based on, ‘all care and no responsibility’, these kinds of tragedies will continue to happen.
While we insist on believing we are not all connected in some way and our personal actions don’t affect others, or the collective, and it’s ‘every man for himself’ or as someone put it to me once ‘…everyone rows their own canoe…’ then we will continue to build a societal culture of indifference and disdain.
Every time we turn a blind eye to someone in need or to injustices happening on our own doorstep, we show the world what kind of human we are.
And every time we turn our heels and walk in another direction, avoiding the grieving person heading our way, we demonstrate an obscene lack of empathy and compassion. We fuel the fire that says we are a grief-phobic, death-denying society that refuses to have difficult conversations and is too petrified to change.
We tell the world that violence is bad and then send our children off to war.
We preach that eating nutritious food is the way to optimal health and then make it financially prohibitive to the majority of the population.
We harp on about the mental health crisis and then don’t remunerate our health workers appropriately. And we continue to build a culture of strive and struggle, scrimp and save, where collaboration and working together is not a given, but something people admire or say “wow!” to, with raised eyebrows, as if we are doing something extraordinary.
What the hell is wrong with this picture?? I think EVERYTHING!
Today a young man’s family likely sits in a hospital wondering what the outcome will be and they will look out the same windows I did and watch the world go by… just like I did.
Our actions not our words determine our character.
And so today I quote the words of Ghandi,
“Be the change you want to see in the world”
We are all responsible for our own attitudes, our actions and our responses and every one of these impacts another human whether we believe it or not.
So how do you want to be treated? And how do you treat others?
Dalya xx 💙