If you’ve read my previous post, you might understand I’ve been having a little trouble seeing the kindness in the world lately, perhaps we all have. There seems to be an awful lot of intolerance and hate around lately, invading media and our social newsfeeds. I don’t now about you, but I’m ready for a dose of kindness to reset my perspective. So here are a few things that have caught my attention recently:
For the mistake makers, the messy hearts and dreamers
This is a beautiful post by Darla Halyk on her blog New World Mom. A simple encounter in the middle of a busy life that encompasses thoughts on judgement, compassion and tutus. Read it here, but first here’s a photo of Zoe in a tutu, just because…
Those who have learned from history…
Some of the grandmothers who are helping refugees on the island of Lesbos are themselves the daughters of refugees from Smyrna, from where ethnic Greeks where driven out after the Greco-Turkish war of 1919-22. They are simply passing on the compassion that was shown to their families when they arrived. Read more about it here
What can we learn about empathy from a CIA agent?
“If I’ve learned one lesson from my time with the CIA, it is this” she says “Everybody believes they are the good guy.”
Still learning the lessons of Parihaka
Sorry about WordPress’ complete failure with embed codes here, you’ll just have to click on the links.
For those readers who are not from New Zealand, Parihaka in Taranaki was the site of a passive resistance movement opposing the confiscation of Māori land in the late 1800s. When it was invaded by 1600 volunteers and armed constabulary in 1881, they were greeted by 2,000 inhabitants sitting quietly on the marae and a group of singing children.
Recently when Taranaki mayor Andrew Judd spoke up for improved Māori representation on council, he was subjected to public abuse and spat on. The subsequent outpouring of both opposition and support and plain old racism reopened old and not so old wounds in the community.
The response of Andrew Judd’s supporters was true to the spirit of Parihaka, a three day hikoi (walk) from New Plymouth to Parihaka intended to start a new conversation about racial inclusion. Read about it here. or
And just because I’m a child of the 80s, and it’s Wiki o te Reo Māori (although most of the song is actually in English) I’m also throwing in the 1989 music video for the song Parihaka by Tim Finn (one time member of Crowded House for you non NZ readers) and Herbs.
Grass roots help for homeless
As growing in equality and Auckland’s housing shortage have created a perfect storm, the lives of low income families are often on a precarious knife edge between shelter and homelessness, with far too many ending up on the wrong side. Where government policy and programmes have failed, Te Puea Marae has stepped up, not just in providing emergency accommodation, but in telling the real stories of the real people they are assisting, they are not just numbers on government reports.
Te Puea Marae is working with aroha to give people dignity in their missions of manaaki tangata, (to care for others) and mahingia te mahi (to work for the benefit of the people) and it’s amazing to see the community of volunteers and supporters who have joined them.
That’s all for now folks, see you back here next time