Australia is an adventure film in which the problems and culture of indigenous people are woven into the story. To quote Hugh Jackman's character: "Everything I own I can fit in my saddlebag, the only thing you really own is a story, just try to live a good one."  Possessions and ownership are not important;  it is the story of your life that matters, telling how you lived.

Highlighting the needy with Anthony Bernard.

We are now in Lent, the Christian time for reflection;  Ramadan starts tomorrow, 23rd.  It is lambing time on farms, bluebells are flowering before trees block out sunlight.  It is time to reflect and review new thought, fresh ideas and solutions.  Spiritual reflections are personal, but there are many social wrongs that need righting, stimulating thoughts on how each of us should be making a difference.

"Do as you would be done by" summarises the message from all the faiths I could find on the internet, and makes sense anyway.  Strict application would have Vlad Putin's Black Sea villa bombed into rubble; doing to him what he does to others, but maybe there is some religious small print against that!  In the Christian and Jewish tradition we have Ten Commandments, in which "honour thy father and mother" surprisingly comes before "thou shalt not kill".

Elderly people certainly need attention, categorised as "Social Care" in our modern world.  The wealthy 10% of the world, which considers itself "developed", can find that difficult.  Respect and care for older people in most poorer countries is a strong part of the culture.  It also makes sense for us;  those who look forward to a long life are expecting to become old and will need help sooner or later.  So we should actively support the elderly, being nice to parents and grandparents, and pressing for better funding for the care industry.

Children are a vital part of any society.  It is young people growing into adults that drive economies and society forward.  Our industrial world with gender equality has left behind the early picture of a mother minding the home while father brings home the bacon, so to speak. Both parents going out to work puts pressure on child minding and on education which is very important for all those growing up.  Both need better funding. 

Disabilities and special educational needs require particular attention.  We are profoundly shocked by images of disabled children and adults just incarcerated in previously communist countries;  we are encouraged by seeing some of our children successful in sport or other activity in which they can flourish despite impairments.  We all learnt at school that some are better with books and others better on the playing field; many disabilities are no more than extreme examples of being really good at one thing and very awful at something else!   A science professor reported his car stolen after lecturing in another city; he had gone by car, but returned by train!

Special Educational Need Schools (SENS) need proper funding, not just to look after the needy, but to draw into society valuable skills being missed just because an individual can't talk or walk like everyone else.  We should also develop teachers' skills in positively developing people with disabilities.

Our "story" grows according to what we do and how we contribute to those around.  For starters, a smile is like a ray of sunshine for many people in these gloomy times.