Friday, March 4, 2011

We're all heart

Haven’t we come up shining as a community since the earthquake on Feb 22? I saw an interview with Phil Keoghan, the host of top-rating show The Amazing Race, who said the way Kiwis are responding was nothing short of amazing.
All over the country people are desperate to find a way to help. If we can’t be there on the ground, at least we can raise cash – and it’s been happening at schools and shopping centres and in offices and clubs. The money has been pouring in - so much so that you have to feel a bit sorry for anyone who's trying to raise funds for anything else.
Someone from the Red Cross knocked on our door the other night. She was, just coincidentally, taking part in their annual collection. "We have given already," I said, as my husband went to find more cash for her. I felt I needed to explain why I wasn't stuffing wads of bills into her official plastic bag.
"People are so wonderful," she told us. "I'm hearing that at every house I go to, but they'e still giving more when I say it's all going to Christchurch."
Something else I'm noticing: Have you noticed the big surge of the ‘kia kaha’ expression? Everyone’s saying it, from former PM Helen Clark to thousands of wellwishers on Facebook and Twitter.
Most of us know it means ‘stand strong’, but a friend of mine, Makuini Ruth Tai, specialises in deep analysis of the Maori language and she says it really means ‘be strengthened by lighting the breath’.
I like that. In the sports context we all know that you must have deep, explosive breath to sprint, or lift or achieve something mighty. And women know you need breath to give birth, too. So, all the more reason for us to keep saying it… kia kaha!

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