It feels natural for us to reach out to others when they are in need. We are, overwhelmingly, unable to stand back and not help those who are vulnerable, neglected or suffering. At times it can feel all too much and we feel powerless, especially in turbulent times like those we are all experiencing now, but rather than turning away from what can seem to be so insurmountable – I am heartened by the many taking action, in small, and not so small ways. Mary MacKillop famously said “Never see a need without doing something about it” and as we approach World Humanitarian Day on 19 August – we honour those who live by this example every day.
The United Nations established World Humanitarian Day in 2009 and the annual celebration honours those who have lost their lives in the service of others and recognises the amazing efforts by medical and aid workers in alleviating the suffering and hardships of so many around the world. They show the resilience, kindness and compassion of our shared humanity, by dedicating their time, energy and their lives to make the world a better place through their selfless acts. Humanitarian workers don’t hesitate to go where many may fear to venture and offer up their service to the needs of humanity; helping women, children, men and whole families survive in conflict and disaster zones. It takes such courage, of both heart and soul, to follow the calling to live one’s life for others. I can only imagine the struggle not to become weary with so many to help with so little resources, and yet they preserve and echo Mary’s words in their heart, taking… “fresh courage’, determined to do all that they can. We are so thankful for their service every day, especially right now during COVID-19 and the impact this has on being able to do their incredibly hard work.
You and I, might not be able to enter into a war zone or be able to jump on a plane to offer medical care during a worldwide pandemic, but we can see the needs of others around us in our daily lives and find a way to take action. There are so many ways we can show our humanity and honour those who do what we cannot; by volunteering, helping a neighbour, paying it forward, offering a hand up and committing to the simple idea of a weekly act of kindness. Anyone can be a humanitarian – it truly doesn’t take much to make a difference and make the world a better place.
May we all heed the example set by Mary MacKillop, by the Sister of Saint Joseph and by the #RealLifeHeroes, the Humanitarian workers, and do what we can to serve those in need.
If you’d like more information on how you can take action and transform the lives of vulnerable and neglected people here in Australia and overseas, visit Mary MacKillop Today to learn more.
Kelly Vance, Direct Marketing Officer
Mary MacKillop Today