Posted by Tim Harrison.
Like many across the country, and indeed the world, I’ve been watching the news coverage of the significant flooding in Queensland. Images of houses drifting down rivers, cars stacked up like dominoes and suburbs turning into estuaries are things we don’t expect to see in these places. Often, it’s overseas and there’s a detachment we feel when it’s “someone else.”
Brisbane probably changed that feeling of detachment for many of us. Who can look at the CBD of Brisbane inundated with water and not wonder, what if that was my city?
But, it’s the stories of the affected people that make the whole sorry mess that bit more personal.
Audio on the radio of people distraught at having lost their homes, their livestock and possibly their livelihoods is truly hard to hear. But, we should listen.
Pictures and footage online of people standing in numb shock at what used to be their town, now just mud and debris is hard to imagine. But, we should look through their eyes.
And when we hear hearts breaking at the sense of loss and hopelessness, we should most certainly pause to remember how lucky most of us are to have a home with a roof over our heads and a warm, dry bed in which to sleep.
However, despite all the sadness and loss, there is one story — although tragic — that shines a light on the darkest of times for many.
That light is the story of Jordan Rice. Trapped in the raging floodwaters with his mother and his 10 year old brother, 13 year old Jordan made a decision that puts so many of us to shame.
When the rescuers reached the car they were trapped in, Jordan simply said, “Save my brother.” In one of those scenes we usually only see in movies, the rescuers pulled 10 year old Blake from the car to safety just before it was torn away.
Jordan and his mum were swept away and drowned.
With all the news and coverage of these floods, stories like this may well slip down the pages and into the fog, but Jordan’s story is one that, albeit truly sad, is one that gives me some faith that there’s hope for all of us yet.
When a 13 year old shows courage in such circumstances and makes what we all too often casually label “the ultimate sacrifice”, we should all stop and think about what we’d do.
I’d like to think that, faced with the same situation, I’d have the courage to do the same. But I don’t know.
Right now, all I can say is Jordan Rice has demonstrated a selflessness and courage beyond his years and should be remembered… as a true hero.