For the last few months, I have participated in a monthly blog share #1000speak at This is a group of bloggers who are wanting to bring out the best in humanity and somehow make a difference.

This month’s topic is acceptance.

To say that I struggle with acceptance is the greatest understatement. I am outright oppositional, rebellious and fight it with every cell I’ve got.

Not that I’m a bad person or rebellious by nature. It’s just that I believe too much in the power to change our destiny, the future, the world within us as well as the world around us just to accept the status quo. It might be hard work and quite a lonely journey going against the flow sometimes. However, somebody’s got to do it and thank goodness, I’m not alone.

For many years now, I have wrestled with acceptance and, in particular, with the first verse of the Serenity Prayer:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

While this prayer is the foundation of the highly successful Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12 Steps Program, what’s amazed me is how much I could actually change. It was way beyond the realms of what I ever considered possible.

I have a severe chronic illness and yet I was able to learn the violin. I skied. Have now had over 20,000 views on my blog. Yet, at the same time, I found that despite my best efforts, there were things I couldn’t change. Straight after skiing down Front Valley at Australia’s Perisher Resort, I developed pneumonia and my auto-immune disease flared up and I went on to have chemo shortly after. That wasn’t part of the plan but I guess it just went to show me that I can’t control everything. That life does respond to a remote control.

Over the last 12 months, my views towards acceptance have been challenged again by the impact of terrorism in our world. Just over a year ago, Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over the Ukraine killing everyone on board. This event silenced the world and we were united in shock and grief. How could this happen? Once again, our sense of security was at the very least challenged and the ground beneath our feet perhaps became a bit more uncertain…especially after terrorist sieges in Sydney, Paris and more recently events in Tunisia.

What can we as mere little people do in the face of such hate? How can we reach out to those who had so tragically lost loved ones and convey our deep love and our sense of solidarity? That although we’re strangers, that we feel such love, compassion and wished there was something we could do? How can we show that we don’t accept such acts of terrorism or violence when we might not have a voice?

It’s a challenge!

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Edmund Burke

After the loss of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, the kids and I made a series of red love hearts which they cut out and taped onto paddle pop sticks, which they could stick in the ground like the red poppies we have on ANZAC Day in remembrance of those who served our country and in particular made the ultimate sacrifice. Quite a few of the Australians on board were either teachers or students and so we sent these hearts to the schools involved.

Our tribute to the victims of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17. We posted these hearts out to their schools and communities where we could.

Our tribute to the victims of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17. We posted these hearts out to their schools and communities where we could.

By sending these letters, we weren’t actively combating evil directly but we were doing something and I guess I made a bit of an unconscious decision not to forget those people who died on board Flight MH17. Not because I knew any of them personally but to say that it’s completely unacceptable for a civilian aircraft to be shot down NO MATTER WHAT.

But how can I do that? How can I just one little speck lost among the hundreds and thousands ever hope to make a difference when governments and political leaders with greater minds than mine struggle?!

The determination in our hearts can move mighty mountains!

The determination in our hearts can move mighty mountains!

That said, I don’t think we should ever underestimate the power of the human heart and how it can move mighty mountains and blow evil right out of the water! What the little people might lack in might, we can have in passion and determination.

Moreover, when all of us little people come together, we become a powerful force. We have days at school which require a gold coin donation and while I might put in a couple of dollars, as a school we might raise $700-$900.00.

That is people power.

Through blogging, I have also been able to see the power of “the pen” in action. Moreover, through 1000 Voices for Compassion, hundreds and indeed a thousand of us write about compassion each month and spend that time thinking and even putting goodness into action.

I have to believe that each of us is being that difference and making a stand against horrors which should never be accepted.

xx Rowena

20 thoughts on “Acceptance?

  1. Shilpa Garg

    Loved your tribute to the victims of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17… such a thoughtful gesture. I agree, each one of us can make a difference, howsoever small our contribution may be!

  2. roweeee Post author

    Thanks, Merril. It was hard to know how to respond at the time and that came to mind and the kids made them all…a real family effort.

  3. therabbitholez

    Thought provoking, thank you, I think we all look for acceptance in different ways, but with that we must have compassion with those who have no choice but to accept.

  4. Sharyn Constantine

    What a beautiful tribute to the tragic events of Flight MH17, and what a great post. There are things within us we struggle to accept, and things outside of us that should never be accepted. This is a strong reminder of how much different each little action, each little contribution, each little voice can make to the bigger picture. Thanks, Rowena 🙂

  5. Louise

    Beautifully written. And the red hearts were a wonderful gesture and symbol of your compassion and prayers. While you may think it doesn’t “actively” combat evil – I don’t think we can underestimate the impact symbols and demonstrations of caring like that can have on others.

  6. TanGental

    As ever loads of good sense here; the most important is the hope… the hope that we will get better and put behind us the controlling instincts to ride roughshod over others. Anyone in any position of power as to understand they have more responsibility than power: a responsibility to exercise that power for the benefit of the others

  7. carolschepper

    Great post, Rowena. I loved the red hearts.
    I, too, choose to believe that each of us has the capacity & ability to cause positive change. Our individual contributions may only have localized impact, but many localized impacts are how change happens.

  8. Minuscule Moments

    Moreover, when all of us little people come together, we become a powerful force.

    Indeed this is so very true Rowena. I believe there are more good people in this world than bad. I love your hearts, so beautiful.

  9. roweeee Post author

    Thanks, Kath. Perhaps, I should employ Bilbo’s excellent herding skills to round the good ones up. He is a true Border Collie!

  10. Pingback: Acceptance? | 1000 Voices for Compassion | Sco...

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