Thursday, March 3, 2011

Working Towards a Common Goal
Sometimes, it's really freakin hard to find a silver lining. It's just over a week now since the quake struck Christchurch and with such devastation and loss of life it can be really hard to see any positives. I think as New Zealanders though, we have proven how strong we are in the face of adversity. I hate saying 'we' in that sentence, because although I was extremely upset by everything that happened, it hasn't really affected me. My friends and family are fine as am I. I say 'we' though because almost everyone I know has been overwhelmed by a hideous sense of helplessness.

We have donated, we have worn Canterbury colours, we have done what we could. We have supported each other, reached out to one another, counted our blessings together. New Zealand media has gone to town reporting on the community spirit that is alive and kicking in New Zealand. We will not be defeated.
New Zealand is awesome. I'm so proud to be a Kiwi and I so wish I could have helped in some small way when the earthquake hit. You know what I haven't seen in the media? An outbreak of 'This world is so cool to be a part of'.

That, my friends, is my silver lining. Within hours, teams from all over the world were on their way. It feels like the whole world picked up the phone and went 'Oh shit mate, won't be a second, I'll just grab my keys and leave a note to say where I've gone and I'll be right there'. Australians, Americans, Brits, Japanese... they're all here, helping.

I know that they have their own motivations. If they help us, we'll help them. In many situations, we already have. But at the end of the day, they didn't have to. Australia has enough issues of its own, with floods, fire and cyclones to deal with. But the government gave us $5 million as though it was pocket change, and sent equipment and people over. Hundreds of Aussie police officers have been sworn in as New Zealand police so they can help. American Urban Search and Rescue teams are helping us search for the living. Japanese crews were put on to search a school where many Japanese may have perished.
As much as I love my blog and as addicted to facebook as I am, I'm the first to say I'd happily go without the Internet. But without modern networking capabilities, or even just communications we take for granted, these other countries wouldn't even know we were in trouble. A hundred years ago, your world was your community. Everywhere else was so far away. Now, we are in a world that is exactly the same size it used to be, but so much smaller in so many ways.

If your neighbour came by to ask for help with something, would you jump at the chance? Would you have offered before they had to ask? Would you have opened the door? We do not extend the same civilities to our own communities that we do to strangers the world over. It's sad, and I am guilty of it as much as anyone I've ever met. This last week though, has felt different. I'm inspired, I'm grateful, and I'm hopeful. Not all countries have it all figured out just yet, that's for sure. But if those of us that do, can band together like this... what an awesome world we live in.


Gin said...

thats beautiful penpen, almost made me cry :)

jerome.mahutoto said...

No one top those words mate...and yes I hit the "Like" button too :)

Penny said...

Thanks so much guys, you're awesome :) x

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