OPINION

Mutual peril forms a tight bond between us

Silver lining: Gold is tested by fire, as the good book points out, and many Aussies have recently shown just how gold they really are.
Silver lining: Gold is tested by fire, as the good book points out, and many Aussies have recently shown just how gold they really are.

We may disagree about how these bushfires begin, but we're all agreed we want to help people in peril because, really, we're all on the same side. This is such a beautiful reminder that people are essentially good.

For these past two weeks I took my annual leave and decided to live with my parents up in the Blue Mountains, for fear of their safety, during these recent and trying bushfires.

If you've ever spent time in the Blue Mountains you'd know why I was so worried for Mum and Dad's safety. Only the other day I was reading a story about a firefighter of 20 years who said the Blue Mountains bushfires were the worst conditions he'd ever faced.

And yet, as the current bushfires have mercilessly taught us, really, everyone is at risk.

As much as I wanted to go out socialising in the city of Sydney and enjoy some of the best beaches in the world, it felt so much more right to stay up in the Blue Mountains with my parents... just in case.

I had a great time with them. Watching TV with my parents was particularly enjoyable. We regularly watched this show called Judge Judy which is a reality TV show in a courtroom that shows real people and real cases. Judge Judy is the rudest host you'll ever see on TV.

She actually shouts at people and is very rude to the guilty parties and even the innocent parties for, ironically, being rude! Still, Judge Judy is inexplicably watchable.

But, over the last fortnight, I did manage to persuade my parents to leave the Blue Mountains... once.

We left the Blue Mountains and I lashed out and bought both parents breakfast. Don't congratulate me just yet. Where and when did this happen? Penrith Hungry Jacks on Saturday. Unfortunately, Penrith was the hottest place on Earth on Saturday, reaching a high of 48.9 degrees Celsius. Not my finest moment.

Still, it was a humorous distraction from my sadder musings: the tragic loss of human life, the vast amounts of beautiful bushland destroyed, and the immeasurable loss of animal life.

Have you ever noticed how native Australian animals have such beautiful eyes? I wonder how horrible it must have been to be a native Australian animal in your natural habitat and to see the fires coming for you and for the only world you've ever known. I'm just glad they're not in pain anymore.

The thick and often dark clouds I could see in the sky had the ability to take my mind off almost everything else.

Is it true that every cloud has a silver lining? I always loved this saying, until someone said it to me just after my brother died.

Sometimes, as I've looked up at these ominous clouds above us lately, I've asked myself, where's the silver lining this time?

I marked myself as "safe" on Facebook and one of the first people to like this status was a friend from school I hadn't spoken to in ages.

His parents lost everything in the Blue Mountains bushfire of 2013. I began to see the silver lining.

Mutual peril does form a bond between people. This is a phenomenon that occurs too often to be denied. Perhaps you've noticed we're less rude and a lot nicer to each other during these fires.

When our compassion gets a workout, we see the good that is in people. We may disagree about how these bushfires begin, but we're all agreed we want to help people in peril because, really, we're all on the same side.

This is such a beautiful reminder that people are essentially good.

Almost everyone wants to help and we keep getting the most beautiful shocks. Aussie tennis great Nick Kyrgios broke down in tears as he spoke about the bushfires - and not after he lost, but after he won.

Aussie tennis great Ash Barty is donating all her Brisbane prize money to bushfire victims, ScoMo came back from his holidays, the Australian Bankers Association are relaxing repayment conditions for fire-effected customers, and even Telstra's payphones are providing free local, national and standard mobile calls.

That's the last time I'm bagging out Telstra... for now.

Gold is tested by fire, as the good book points out, and many Aussies have recently shown just how gold they really are.

Maybe they are these ominous clouds' silver lining.