There were a number of conversations being held on Facebook today and yesterday, about whether any fireworks events planned for Australia Day should be cancelled and the money donated to the various flood relief appeals.
Some Facebook pages were quickly set up to engage the discussion and the overwhelming view was that it was too late to cancel and in the light of the flood tragedies on the East Coast and the terrible fires south of Perth, the fireworks shows should go ahead. Mostly for reasons of community support and social well being.
Conversations wandered off topic some times, there was lively interaction and it is very clear that being able to communicate openly through Social Media is a good thing.
These are two of my favourite links:
My personal view is this: Let the fireworks go ahead – they help bring people together and celebrate life. Have fundraising buckets at the events. Charge a gold coin for entry. You will raise a lot of money and let people have some enjoyment.It’s too easy to cancel good things, thinking it’s the right thing to do, often out of a subliminal sense of guilt that we shouldn’t be enjoying anything, while others suffer.
Cancelling the fireworks would be counter-productive when the country needs something cheerful and bright to bring it together.
Thinking I should write a Nana story about Guy Fawkes night in the country, when we were kids. Spent weeks building bonfires; were allowed to stay up really late; catherine wheels; sparklers; penny bombs and tom thumbs; sky rockets and in the morning we kids would be up at the crack of dawn to trawl all the bonfire sit es for crackers and fireworks missed in the dark. Heaps of fun. Too late to cancel them now.
There were other excellent streams, too, speaking about the need to restore normality; the need for children to have the sense of security of being able to attend an event long planned and anticipated; that most of the money had already been spent and Governments and organisers would have to meet their contractural obligations for the events, whether they took place or not.
Think Mellen Events, A Day On The Green and the concerts – We Play, Rain Or Shine.
So many people are suggesting we skip Australia Day fireworks and give the money to flood victims. It’s normal to want to help and do whatever we can. Perspective can make all the difference in the way we help and helping the best way we can. Sometimes the best way to help is to maintain normality. Children especially need this as a way to cope.
There is no doubt that being connected with Social Media has played a most important role in minimising stress and needless worry during the floods in Queensland and those now rising in Victoria and Tasmania. During the terrible fires south of Perth, Social Media was invaluable.
Being able to use Twitter and Facebook, in particular, provided many families with relief and helped emergency services in ways never previously possible. Official Police and Emergency Facebook Pages communicated critical information that undoubtedly saved many lives. Twitter, in particular, came of age in Australia as a serious and respected source of news, photos, videos and support.
It’s a great thing – to be able to talk, laugh, cry and reach out a comforting hand in an instant. There have been some fireworks in the discussion streams, too! May it long continue.