I wonder what Harry and Meghan would have found if they had considered living in New Zealand twenty years ago?
Kiwi spirit is what pastor and baritone Rodney Macann talked about in my interview with him in 2000. Rodney Macann was, in 2000, leader of the ministry team Wellington Central Baptist. Later, he was the NZ Baptist national leader. As well, he was singing throughout New Zealand and Australia with the major Opera and concert organizations like the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the NBR Opera NZ.
Interviewer: What do you think is the mood of the New Zealand public, considering the economic downfall, distrust of the government, the ‘brain drain’ (New Zealanders heading overseas to live and work), and our Olympians not performing up to expectations.
Rodney: I think the public mood changes hugely and very, very quickly. For example, if we think about sport for the moment, people are a bit downhearted that we didn’t do so well. But my view of it is, is that we are a tiny country with very limited resources.
We’re naturally quite physically strong.
Interviewer: What do you mean physically strong?
Rodney: I think we grow up in a country that provides a very, very healthy environment. That could be changing because our figures are most probably skewed a wee bit by people who are getting overweight on junk food and this sort of thing. Kiwis, for the best part of the last century, have most probably healthier food and living conditions than most other parts of the world and this is shown in the physique of the average Kiwi, I think.
When I was so much younger than I am today, and for about the rest of my life since, I believed that America should be emulated. Americans somehow lived on a different plane to the rest of us. They have it all together in other words. It’s the ideal life there. The perfect, ideal people, who are on top of things. I seen this. America brings us perfect movies, perfect presidents, immaculate music, Thanksgiving with happy families, Christmas with a warm glow, July 4 the best thing since last July 4. But, when I started to engage with American lives through the comments sections, I saw how the postie does not deliver the parcels to the correct address over and over again and there are people who cannot even get out of bed. But, to be sure and sober about this, and not to make it a comedy of sorts, I found that Americans are real people. Americans are people who struggle. And some, not all, are incredibly kind when the postie does not deliver. Someone said, welcome to the real world.
A judgment of a person based on a cultural understanding may assume things about that person, but it may be not open to the uniqueness of the person’s individual experience. Check things off the list of things that person may or may mot be.
The individual should be understood carefully as an individual. Knowing the uniqueness of each individual and human experience does not use select pieces of information to assess or judge a person but is open to understanding everyone’s journey. As a writer, this can form the basis of knowing intimately a character, perhaps uncomfortably so, and even then the writer is only representing the character and does not know everything about it.
In life, everyone knows their own journey and the load they must carry even if no one else really does know everything about it. But I believe we can try to know and carry each other’s burdens as much as sensibly possible. And even if no one does know, I believe God does know best anyhow, who can be a great friend in truly knowing us, when we are in good times or bad.