I am ever so grateful to be surrounded by the caring and giving community that I am: people who give a damn and are willing to do something to make the world a better place. THANK YOU.
I often come home to bags of donations on my verandah: People just turn up with requested goods for PNG. THANK YOU.
Food, medicines, worm tablets, hair bands, shoes, zips, dental products, lollies, pens, shopping bags, knitted scarves and beanies - they just turn up and I know they are meant for my voluntary work in Port Moresby. My daughter's friend even gave me some cash to put toward my excess luggage - how cool is that coming from a young person. Others fund raise and give straight to Operation Food for Life so we can buy needed goods up there. A large shoe store in Cairns donated returns and wrongly packaged running shoes. Man, they were a hit with the kids! THANK YOU.
When we give what we can, be that time, talent or money, the world as we want it to be grows: it gets bigger, lovelier and safer. But, it seems that my community is unusual and generous to the max with their contributions.
Research suggests that we have to learn to be givers: if we don't see people giving freely then we don't learn to give. That's such a shame because research also suggests that giving increases the givers happiness (measurable and increased brain hormones and chemicals are evident). Hell, we don't even give to our neighbours anymore. It is all too common for people to not even know their neighbours.
I grew up learning about good neighbours. In Papua New Guinea our good neighbour was Australia and I loved learning about her and how she was helping prepare PNG for independence...and I especially loved receiving presents in the mail from my grandparents. It is interesting that I now give back to Port Moresby, my home town's closest capital city: my neighbour.
Whether you help me, your neighbour, the country closest to you or a country far away from you, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for modelling the behaviour we need to see more of. I also hope that you end up with neighbours from my Cairns community - they are wonderful.
[Megan breaks into song as she signs off] "Neighbours. Everybody needs good neighbours. With a little understanding you can find the perfect blend."
Keep talking garbage, my community. YOU ROCK and I adore you. Mxxxxxxxxxxxx