“I pray for those who have died on the faraway battlefields to maintain the freedom and safety of this nation. Their bravery and sacrifice for peace will never be forgotten.

I pray for all those officers and soldiers who currently serve. Their commitment to serve our nation keeps Australia safe.

I pray for the people who safeguard peace and happiness within Australia, creating balance and an equilibrium of peace.

I pray for the parents who raise children in kindness and in healthy spirit, ensuring that they are educated in different professions, science, arts and sports, which makes Australia thrive.

So that one day those children have grown strong and confident ready to help those that cannot fend for themselves.

So that one day those children have grown to be creative, not afraid to make mistakes or be judged.

So that one day ‘the noise of others’ will not drown their opinions and inner voices.

So that one day they have the courage to ‘follow their hearts and intuition’.

I pray for the welfare of the Australian Government to keep our nation in peace, prosperity and health.

I pray that the Australian Government will retain the trust and love of its people and remain calm in trying times, so they will do the right things as the leaders of our nation, to retain a general sense of peace and kindness.

I see Australia as a precious being, which has to be protected with love and care. 

An Australia, lead by its government to provide the structure we all need, an army to defend its values and what we stand for, and its people who are the body, heart and soul of this nation.

I believe that the feelings of love and harmony inside are really important for all of us. If some people feel hurt than it affects the others too. We should therefore treat everyone with respect and care.

Once I read in a scientific journal that the flap of  a butterfly’s wings can cause a typhoon in another part of the world.

I also read that spoken words can bring much hurt if used for gossiping and blame instead of praise, support and kindness. Harsh words can evoke bitterness and anger instead of creating peace and prosperity.

Using words that are positive and kind uplifts the spirit. And a hug can lift your mood and pick you up, even if you have fallen or made a mistake.

The urge to have mutual feelings of love for everyone will create a society where our children can grow up safely, not be afraid to take risks for they can be sure that helping hands will be there to catch them if they should fall.

Being exposed to judgement can be so damaging for the soul. To some it feels like the accuser is using a knife to kill their spirit and scar their souls. It can certainly bring ruin to trust, friendship, and may even break up families and initiate wars. It can ruin self-esteem, cause people to feel weak or angry.

I notice that nowadays people have become so civilized and pay a lot of attention to all kinds of media and technologies. However, it seems that often they forget the people and the simple things around them that should matter the most.

They seem to have forgotten how to love, to hug, to say a nice word, or to help someone in need.

I often wonder what would happen if everyone, instead of criticising or noticing each others’ mistakes, would try to give praise and hail each others’ achievements?

Australia has the most beautiful butterflies and black swans, which cannot be seen anywhere else in the world.

Wouldn’t it be better if the stroke of a butterfly’s wing could touch the world with kindness, and break most people’s focus on aggression and rudeness?

Wouldn’t it be better if the stroke of a butterfly’s wing could bring about a change so we could live in a kinder and better place?

I pray for a miracle to happen. I pray that all wars will come to an end. Well, and if that is too difficult, we will just take it step by step…

The ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ shook things up and made people think.

Shouldn’t we do something similar to make people think about themselves and how they treat on another?

Why couldn’t we create nationwide social challenge and call it the ‘Australian Spirit Challenge’?

In this challenge we could encourage people to:

Restrain their anger for a period of 14 days. This would see them refraining from using any harsh or negative words and instead using only positive ones towards each other.

They should be encouraged to be inclusive of each other, instead of being critical, gossiping and judgemental.

Everyone should feel encouraged to praise, treat each other with respect and dignity.

At the end of the day, we ask them to either be able to say positive things, or keep silent. Those who fail the challenge, should be encouraged to make a donation to a charity of their choosing.

It would be very interesting to see the outcome and the change in people’s social environment. Would it work? I wonder …”

Rachel Rikkone, Wenona School