September 22, 2010
The Indian representative defending the cleanliness of the Commonwealth Games accommodation venues questioned: “is it my standard?, your standard? or their standard? If it’s true that the workers have been using the toilets despite the plumbing not being connected, you can take a wild guess about the standard. Much further south Christchurch City manager Mark Christison was close to tears when trying to explain to Avonside residents today that it might take a year for sewage systems to be restored, prompting one resident to declare that New Delhi was looking like a pretty good option.
David Garret is apparently going to talk about the ructions within the ACT party. Why? When he was 26 he fraudulently obtained a passport and later, when he was middle-aged, lied to the court that he had no previous convictions. This was when he was lawyer to the Sensible Sentencing Trust, an organisation which promotes ruthless standards of accountability for convicted criminals. Sometimes that can just be vindictive. A bit like revealing all the behind the scenes within ACT. Like we didn’t know. Vindictively trying to take others down, because he got caught breaching his own publicly stated standards, so blatantly.
It never fails to amaze me that some politicians feel the need to lash out at all in sundry when caught out. They don’t seem to get that it’s the covering up causes the strife. Remember “I did not have sexual relations with that woman!”
Bad luck for David Garret that the plumbing didn’t wash away his crime and he’s had to adjust his standards. Still he must feel relief to have it all out in the open. The healing can begin.
Leader of the day for me goes to the unsuspecting Christchurch City manager Mark Christison who showed his authenticity by breaking down in front of the citizens of Avonside. Not because he broke down, but because he showed empathy to his fellow citizens. He understood their standards and shared their pain. Such leadership gets things done. Bet you it does. And we’ll never know what when on back at the Council office. It won’t matter.
September 10, 2010
When I was at Linwood Avenue School in Christchurch we used to have earthquake drills. The alarm would go and 30 little kids and Mr Kean would dive under the desks. When you’re still in single digits it’s pretty real and looking back I can see now how informed we were then about the threat of an earthquake. The earthquake is a shock alright in many respects, but is it a surprise?
If Mr Kean were here today, he’d tell you that it was
Mum and Dad's spare room Christchurch needed a good clean up after the earthquake - Click the Picture to Donate to the Earthquake relief fund
always going to happen (with a beard, Mr Kean would fit the bill for looking like the old testament god, that when such an event occurred 3000 years ago, would have inspired a new biblical story!). Fortunately, we now know that it’s the Teutonic plates moving and we should take comfort that no-one or thing is playing games with us.
When a disaster strikes we look for someone to show the way. Knowing that this is simply the earth moving as it has for the last 4 billion years it’s been around, we recognise that the resources to deal with it are with us. And this is where our leaders can bring comfort to us all. Not by telling us that there is a reason for the quakes or that they will stop on a certain date. But by listening, being present and taking practical action to do the best for those impacted. Who in Christchurch hasn’t been impacted?
What I saw in the political leaders in Christchurch was a well grounded, mindful and compassionate response. Some comment that it’s cynical political grandstanding. I don’t agree. It’s showing exactly the leadership at the time we need it. Most of the time we don’t need political leaders to look after us, but when adversity strikes, a steady hand and helpful measures to help those impacted to cope is a good thing. The ground has sure moved, and I know personally how the folk in Christchurch are feeling, but our leaders have proven to be well grounded. You don’t always know leadership until adversity strikes. We’ve had a good look now.
September 4, 2010
It was 5.02am this morning and my new Blackberry (which I didn’t even know was on or off such is my knowledge of it so far) buzzed and woke me. It took three goes for me to plug in my PIN number but when it did the text from Mum in Christchurch sent a shiver up my spine “Terrible Earth Quake”. It was one of those moments that I shall never forget. Or the next 15 minute frantically trying to contact them and finding a headline on stuff.co.nz that read in huge lettering that a 7.4 quake had hit Christchurch.
Were they trapped under a pile of rubble and one got text out? Were they struggling to find their way around? Clearly they were scared.
I felt devastated with concern and became upset. It made me realise how much my folks mean to me and them being vulnerable with the force of the earth against them was very difficult.
Thankfully we made contact and it was obvious that they were scared. Dad said it was like a bad dream that he hoped to wake from. Like most folk they had no power, books were thrown from shelves and crockery and ornaments smashed.
We’re little beings in a universe that is never static. Planet earth is relatively calm, although today’s events make you wonder, but that’s because we are so small and temporaty. The universe might be mighty and completely beyond our command, but we have emotional connections with loved ones that gives us meaning.
When the core of that meaning was put at risk for me, I felt an immediate and deep sense of empathy. It was me. In this moment did I felt the depth of meaning in this relationship.
They are safe, but they’ve had a frightening experience.
I’ve always known what matters. Today I felt it.