Bridge Drama Prompts Random Acts of Kindness

Bridge Drama Prompts Random Acts of Kindness

As the pages of history universally reveal, when we look hard enough into the depths of disaster and despair, we can almost always find a silver lining.

Whether the tragedy is man-made or of natural causes, on a grand scale or at a localised level, the tales that unfold in the midst and aftermath of a crisis offer us a rare gift to search for light in the darkness.

Stories that – despite all the drama – warm our hearts, give us cause to smile, show the power of community and connectedness, and restore our faith in humanity.

When a freak of nature strikes, as was the case with Echuca Moama’s bridge fiasco this week, it’s easy to fall into the blame game – to lash out and lament the negative impact on our lives. And there’s nothing wrong with that – it’s a completely natural reaction under extraordinarily testing circumstances.

But once the dust settles on the temporary imposition, we have one of two choices moving forward. We can continue looking for someone to blame, or we can look beyond our immediate pain and choose to see the good. We can choose to look for the helpers.

And in the case of our ‘tree over bridge’ drama on Tuesday night, you don’t have to look far to find them.

Amidst the chaos on both sides of the river (which we too were caught up in) random acts of kindness across our twin towns began to unfold.

Friends helping friends collect stranded children from sport, dance, music lessons, after school programs and child-care;

Families opening their homes to marooned guests to wait out the drama;

Work colleagues and strangers gathering in restaurants, pubs, and office spaces on both sides of the river, sharing impromptu meals, drinks and bridge banter;

Messages plastered across social media with offers of home-cooked meals for those unable to make it home;

Motorists stuck in the grid-lock checking in on older drivers and collecting pedestrians unable to access the bridge walking path;

And mums enjoying a rare few hours of solitude waiting at home while family members on the ‘wrong’ side of the bridge made alternate plans.

So many tales of generosity, kindness, care and support.

And if those alone aren’t enough to put a smile on your face and give gratitude for, let’s take a moment to consider the most obvious of all.

When that enormous gum tree came crashing down across the bridge at 5.15 on Tuesday evening – smack bang during peak hour between our twin towns – not a single soul was hurt.

Thankfully, as the pages of history will record, this story didn’t end in tragedy. And there’s no greater silver lining than that.

X Lee.