Kapai's Corner - Column

By Tommy Kapai

And the winner is ... happiness
If you were to ask my 6-year-old daughter what her favourite number is she will immediately answer no 3.
Then when you ask the obvious follow-up question, why, Wai? Because that's her name, she will beam back at you: "Cos that wos Tony Lochhead's number when we won the World Cup."
Sure Tony Lochhead is from Te Puna so he carried a bit more mana than the other 10 All Whites on the World Cup stage, but the rationale behind Wai's answer is what makes it interesting.
Six-year-olds have a completely different way of measuring success than us grown-ups and they remember magic moments forever - like when Tony Lochhead's team won the World Cup, even though us big fullas know they didn't.
All Wai remembers is we were in World Cup euphoria for days and days when Tony's team never lost, and to her it seemed like the whole country was wearing a permanent first prize smile across their faces. It was a huge as amount of happiness, bigger than bebo, Barbie, happy meals and Chipmunks all put together.
So where does that straight shooting success recipe of a 6-year-old fit in to the fiery debate about who should have picked up the glamour prize at the Halberg Awards?
Nowhere - according to Dick Tayler, who resigned in protest at The All Whites winning.
When it comes to deciding who should win the equivalent of our Sports Oscars and possibly all other awards including Queen's Awards, perhaps we could plug in a happy meter and download the results on to a joy chip for a result that reflects the true feeling of the nation, including my daughter.
Some people like to be angry about anything and everything and they have jumped into the Dick debate big time.

Maybe it is because they only kissed frogs on Valentine's Day - who knows? These are the brethren who belong to that exclusive tribe I call Ngati Whingers, and they need to get some laughter and loving back in their lives.
What are we teaching our tamariki when we give with one hand and take away with the other as Dick Tayler did to The All Whites?
The sorry saga of Dick's decision to "play then walk away" should challenge us all about how we measure success in all areas of life, not just on the sports field.
Is it by the bottom line, the try line, or the number 3 on a tee-shirt of a 6-year-old hanging out on the clothes line?
Perhaps it is none of them?
For my two bobs' worth of winning the joy chip should be downloaded and fed into the decision-making matrix of any award, sporting, cultural or community. So what is a joy chip you may well ask?
The joy chip is the magic measurer a 6-year-old, and other gifted souls make all their wise unbiased decisions with and it works like this.
Make someone smile and you get a credit on your joy chip. Make heaps of people happy and you get heaps of credits on your joy chip, and the winner of the Joy Chip Award is the team or individual who gets the most credits at the end of the game. Anyone can play and everyone can win and best of all it costs nothing.
Cool game huh?
Homes can give out these Joy Chip Awards as can classes, communities, clubs, whanau, families, mums, dads and even national sporting organisations.
When the All Whites over-achieved they too took us all by surprise and surprises are the pre cursors for creating joy, especially when they come with a side salad of smiles.
Yeah, yeah I know, I am showing my seventies happy hippy side again and you have heard it all before, but hey - what the hell - why not?
Somehow we as a society have been blinkered toward measuring success by everything and anything but the currency of cool, and cool for me is what someone does to make someone else smile.
So how would The All Whites World Cup soccer campaign stack up in the Halbergs if the currency was bottom line coin? Bloody awful, just ask Terry Serepisos, the man who put his money where his mouth was and backed Ricki Herbert.
What about a podium finish for The All Whites?
No joy there.
Now apply the joy chip formula of an ageing hippy and his 6-year-old daughter and ask what sporting event was the one that made us smile the most in 2010?
We agree with the judges who gave it to No 3, Tony Lochhead and his team.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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