Thursday, January 26

Thankful Thursday - Being Thankful for Where I Live

Since today is Australia Day I thought it only fitting to give thanks to the wonderful country that I call home.  On Friday mornings at assembly I stand tall and prove and sing the national anthem with the children.  Even as a child myself I can recall always singing along.  At home if the anthem was played on the TV, as it often is at the start of an important sporting match or when winning a gold medal, I would be standing there singing along.  My parents had instilled in me pride for the wide brown land we called home.

And what's not to be proud of?

At the drop of a hat we send our soldiers off to help fight battles of unjust.  We rally together and show compassion to others in time of need.  The generosity of this nation continually amazes the world at large.  Even as we struggle in our own many ways we still find it possible to lend a helping hand when called upon.

On top of that we have a comparably small population to some of the other larger nations in the world yet we have a sporting prowess that leads to some fabulous sporting victories.  Yes I am one of those watch any sport as long as we win.

Now I'l admit that at times the leaders of this great land may not have made the wisest of decisions or ones that we are necessarily proud of all the time, but they are only human.  Humans chosen by a skewed majority rules mentality where broken promises and tempting lies fill the air.  But I am not here today to get all political, I am here today to give thanks for the awesomeness that is Australia.

Things like this

- Australia was the second country to give women the right to vote.

- In 1954, Bob Hawke was immortalised by the Guinness Book of Records for sculling 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. Bob later became the Prime Minister of Australia.

- Until 1984, Australia's National anthem was "God save the Queen"
- Australia Day (January 26) is the anniversary of ships arriving in Sydney carrying convicts from England.
- In 2007, it was estimated that 22 per cent of living Australians had a convict ancestor.
- Australia's first police force was a band of 12 of the most well behaved Convicts.

- Over 90% of Australia is dry, flat and arid. Almost three-quarters of the land cannot support agriculture in any form.
- A baby kangaroo at the time of its birth measures 2 centimetres.
- Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian coat of arms for that reason.
- Box Jellyfish - The Box Jellyfish is considered the world's most venomous marine creature. The Box Jellyfish has killed more people in Australia than stonefish, sharks and crocodiles combined.
- Four out of 10 Australians are migrants or the first-generation children of migrants.
- The day of the Melbourne Cup (a horse race!) is a public holiday in Melbourne.
- Dropbears - Dropbears are an evil species of koala that fall from trees and attack humans. This evil strain of koala doesn't actually exist. The story was created to fool Americans.

A facebook friend shared this on her status this morning,  just as I was about to go and Google something similar.  
I am thankful she saved me the effort

Recently it was suggested that flying the Australian flag was racist. Interestingly I was listening to a conversation the other day on a similar subject. Only these people were saying wearing a flag as clothing or flying it from your balcony was disrespectful As the owner of numerous Aussie flag garments I was hesitant to comment.  I am thankful to live in a land where freedom of speech is often exercised.  Even if at times that means listening to some real idiots quack on about rubbish.  Everyone has a right to be heard.

I am thankful to live in a land that understands the importance of education and medicine for all.  It might not have the best systems in place but it's better than most.  There is much we take for granted here that others fight tooth and nail to have.  Where here we might complain waiting three hours in emergency to have a sick child seen to others less fortunate wait three days to see a doctor passing through their village.

To me Australia has always been the lucky country and I feel blessed to be born here and raise my children here.  What are you thankful for this week?

Joining in with Kate Says Stuff for