The World can seem like a scary place. At this moment negativity seems to predominate, but if you look closely there are signs of hope.
On the negative side there’s high inflation linked to the continuing conflict in Ukraine, as well as the plight of the Uighur people in China, famine in Somalia and persecution in Iran.
In fact, just a couple of days ago I went with a group of Iranian women to Parliament House where we met with MPs to update them on the terrible situation. There was lots of crying as the women told of their families being tortured and in some cases killed.
Signs of hope abound
However, hope is everywhere… if you know where to look. In the past two days I have been very moved by positive events that have touched me deeply. They are not big things, but little things that are being repeated every day over and over again all around the world.
At my Foundation we held a barbecue for our hundreds of regular guests. Most of our guests are battlers, wounded by life. The traumas they have been through play out on their features which often bear the scars of addiction, homelessness, abandonment and every other social evil.
As part of this event we hired a karaoke machine. Many lined up to participate and I have to say the singing was amazing. There was so much talent behind the microphone! One young girl sang “Shallow”, the song from “A Star is Born” and it brought me to a standstill. I just stood and stared.
Afterwards, I went up to her and told her how much talent she had. She said she used to sing in a band and I encouraged her to sing with our Battlers band.
I have learned encouragement goes a long way. Never more so than with the kids my Foundation helps. They are in danger of falling out of school, but with a little bit of caring, a little bit of encouragement and a little bit of support amazing hidden talents are brought to the fore. It’s all there, you only have to look.
More good stuff
And then today another good thing happened. We have been supporting a multicultural kids football club. These kids come from just about every nation on earth. The club supports teams of different ages, but they are young kids, both boys and girls.
It was their graduation day. All the kids were there with their parents and it was wonderful to see how they all mixed together in a spirit of fun and celebration.
They asked me to speak and I was very moved. I spoke to the young kids and talked about how they were the future. They came from all backgrounds and ethnic groups but wore the same football colours and it was so good to see.
From my past I dragged out a line I heard my mentor Rev. Ted Noffs say over and over again: children belong to a world many of us will never see but it is the world of hope.
I saw one little refugee boy. He was not much taller than a couple of soccer balls! He was walking around the field with such confidence I could easily imagine him being our future prime minister.
Hope is indeed everywhere, you only have to look for it.