Lest We Forget
Today is ANZAC Day here in Australia. For those who are not familiar, ANZAC day is the day when we, as a nation, pause to remember the people who have served and died for the freedoms that we enjoy in this incredible country. Particularly, we remember the spirit of the ANZAC soldiers (Australian and New-Zealand Army Corps) who fought in World War 1.
On this day the towns and cities of Australia and New-Zealand hold parades and remembrance services, so my wife and I decided to make the most of this opportunity to show our respects. At 5am we attended the dawn service on the beautiful Mooloolaba Beach, and later in the morning we went to the Nambour march and service that I had grown up with. As we listened to the veterans speaking of their own journeys, and of the terrible hardships that they and their friends had endured, I couldn’t help but feel as though we, as a people, have become weak and detached from the harsh realities of life, myself included. We have been blessed with so much abundance that we no longer know the true meaning of “problem”. Today we become agitated when we don’t receive a parcel fast enough, or when our internet is temporarily cut off, or when we are offended by a friends comment. These are problems to us. Isn’t it incredible that these are things that stress us out?
As I watched the veterans marching in the parade, I wondered if we would ever understand the horrors that they’ve seen. Will we ever begin to imagine the struggle that they endured? I don’t think so, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. In fact, the reason they served was so that we could live in peace. No, we don’t have to experience the terrible things that the soldiers experienced in order to have a better perspective on life. We don’t have to fight in a war to know what is a problem and what is not. We don’t need to lose a loved one in order to see how swift life can be. We need not march for days on end through deserts and jungles, hungry and dehydrated, to understand the blessing of freedom. All that we need to do is to take a moment to remember those who have, and are, going through these things, and we will begin to build a better perspective of how beautiful our lives actually are.
So if you live in a free nation, and whether you’re for or against war, I want to encourage you to take a moment once in a while to remember that many of the freedoms and luxuries that we enjoy today are the direct result of young men and women who decided that it was important to drop what they were doing in their own life and fight for the nation that they believed in. These people knew what a true hardship was, and they saw things that you and I can never even imagine. The best way to become grateful for what we have is to remember what others have endured before us. Be grateful every day for the abundance that you experience. Learn the difference between a problem and a temporary setback. Live the life that you want to live, and be the person who you want to be. Live on purpose, and pursue your dreams, all the while remembering those who have died so that you can live. This is the best way to show respect, and to remember.
Lest We Forget.