REAL AUSTRALIA

Voice of Real Australia: When flames can lead to the greater good

HOT WHEELS: My once reliable car after the fire.
HOT WHEELS: My once reliable car after the fire.

"Betina, I've got some bad news."

It was a call I didn't need.

My husband, understandably disappointed, called me on my second last day of an overseas trip.

My car was parked and minding its own business on a Newcastle street when someone allegedly set it alight.

You get the picture so further details are unnecessary, but not as much so as the act itself.

It triggers the question: "why, though ... again, why?"

Throughout the following week I reminded myself regularly that in the grand scheme of life it didn't matter.

I had wanted to use public transport more and this gave me no choice.

Perhaps it could be cheaper long term as cars are expensive to own, I thought. This was good for the environment. Plus, I could read on my commute now.

Although, despite the slim silver lining, there was no silencing that nagging feeling of the absolute needlessness of it.

The waste of a quality car in its prime, the loss of an asset, and the drain of time cancelling registration and taking it to its resting place at a wreckers.

Dad drove me to my wedding in that car. I wasn't at the point of naming her but I was a proud owner.

Every day, stories emerge of people doing unnecessary things that annoy, frustrate, or harm others.

No doubt you've read one or two already today.

But if we are truly considering unnecessary actions, we can't forget the countless daily acts of kindness performed by Australians in every state and territory.

In case you haven't heard, the Buy From the Bush campaign is aiming to give a financial boost to drought-stricken towns.

HERO: Olivia Hughes, 13, volunteers every week and is involved in a number of initiatives. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

HERO: Olivia Hughes, 13, volunteers every week and is involved in a number of initiatives. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Or there's the team of animal lovers in the Northcott Everyday Life Skills group in Tamworth making pouches, wraps and mittens for animals hurt in recent bushfires.

Finally, you can't forget the volunteer firefighters who give up time to protect us, not just in catastrophic conditions, but every day of the year.

We all have a part to play in making this world a better place, with our words and actions.

A flame can light a candle or set a car on fire.

The world would be a much brighter place if we all chose to light candles.

Betina Hughes, ACM Group digital journalist