Just sayin’…

October 28th, 2023Just sayin’…

I think most people heard about the tragedy in Daylesford last week. An alleged robbery and someone dying as a consequence. I don't want to go into it more than that.

By Donna Kelly
I think most people heard about the tragedy in Daylesford last week. An alleged robbery and someone dying as a consequence. I don’t want to go into it more than that.
But I watched in horror at the social media onslaught – photos of the scene, jokes about the death, talk of karma and assumptions of drug use which may or may not be right.

Now of course you can’t defame a deceased person. And they can’t be charged. So it’s open slather time for some. But honestly, there are many things to consider, perhaps the first being humanity.
We are all pretty much just a few steps from helplessness and even homelessness.
Losing a job, an illness, not having a supportive network, a few bill payments missed.
Then there’s the slippery slope of drugs and alcohol. Most people I know have tried
a few drugs at times, some continue with them daily with no real side effects. And
everyone I know has a drink now and again, also many daily. But for some it becomes
a problem and it’s an easy break from the stress of life. Maybe bad choices follow,
maybe they don’t. But we are all still human.

Then there’s the family. I don’t know where they are but I do know the internet
reaches everywhere. And they will probably read comments they don’t need to see.
Everyone is someone’s son or daughter, and often a brother or sister, or a husband or
wife, or mum or dad. Few are immune to the slippery slope.
Finally, there are the people who were involved. This incident is now part of their
life. And they are locals who certainly don’t need to see this over and over again in
their Facebook pages.
We live in the wonderful region of the Central Highlands and most of us have
great lives. We work, play, have friends, gather for festivals and spend our money
at some pretty nice cafes and restaurants. But behind the facade are people doing it
tough. Just talk to Michelle at the Community Op Shop about the people they help
daily. Or the wonderful 5000 Club and Good Grub Club volunteers feeding the
masses and providing a chance at companionship for a few hours a week.
Maybe chat to the churches who offer clothing during winter to people perhaps
sleeping in their cars or couch surfing. And yes, people sleep in their cars in our
region. There’s also a nice spot behind the Daylesford visitor centre that gets a bit of
use, which I find ironic as the cashed-up visitors head to the front doors to find out
how to spend their money.
Look, I am not preaching. I am a journalist and have done some stories in my
time that I am not particularly proud of. All quite legal and above board but some
that kept me awake at night as I wondered how the family would feel reading the
news about a wayward relative in the morning. It was sometimes awful and I would
never dream of doing that now – and that’s why we concentrate on good news.
But these days social media can take things to a whole new level. Everyone has
a camera on them, everyone is ready to comment, everyone wants to know what
happened as quickly as possible, even if it is still under investigation. I get that people
are curious but maybe just take a breath, think about your own family, and how you
would like them to be treated. I am guessing with respect.

Oh, The Rex report. I talking to my brother about it. He is in Queensland and
works for a council. “They should take it to a council watchdog,” he said. “We have
those in Queensland.” “Yes,” I said. “We have them in Victoria too. It’s with them.”
Just sayin’…

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