Opinion: Where there is horror and hardship there are heroes

By Tommy Kapai

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GOOD FROM BAD: Like all catastrophes where horror and hardship go hand in hand - there are heroes. PHOTO/MARK MITCHELL
GOOD FROM BAD: Like all catastrophes where horror and hardship go hand in hand - there are heroes. PHOTO/MARK MITCHELL

What do you call 3 cows stuck on an island?

Straight!

Well they can't be gay can they or else, according to Bishop Brian, they would have crumbled with the rest of Kaikoura - and the hinterland behind it, who have suffered horror and hardship on such a catastrophic scale that the rest of us are only now coming to terms with.

And like all catastrophes where horror and hardship go hand in hand - there are heroes.

But before we preach the gospel according to the late great David Bowie where we all can be heroes - just for one day, let's take a brief tour with the well-tanned, well-off, king of bling and founding father of Destiny Church.

My first comment is Destiny Church delivers and transforms lives and in my line of work that is paramount. Many talk but Destiny walks when it comes to transforming the lives of the hopeless and the homeless, so for the moment let's park them on the pulpit with a pass in the eyes of my mate Jesus who lived a life of unconditional love, humility and one of service amongst those who needed him most.

No flash whare and waka, or cut and paste prophecies blaming natural disasters on unnatural acts.

Now back to Bowie and being heroes just for one day.

Everything seems to equate to the Richter scale when it comes to the degree of disaster caused by an earthquake. Unlike a diver on an Olympic platform where the degree of difficulty is a choice made by the person delivering the act, an earthquake and its degree of disaster has no bearing on mankind whatsoever.

So, let's flip the Richter scale from a horror and hardship logarithm to a hero-based equation where good deeds determine the outcome of devastation - and there have been a bunch of them coming out of Kaikoura this last week.

Ngai Tahu - and the hapu of Ngati Kuri, have walked their talk in these "cray-zy" times and opened up the doors of Takahanga Marae for the frightened, the fragile and the homeless. Back in a past life in tourism, I too had the privilege of experiencing their generosity of spirit on this beautifully carved marae and, like those who took refuge inside Takahanga this last week, it will be a memory to hold on to forever.

Ironically it was with another Tamaki Bro Mike who looked at life through far different loving lenses than his brother Brian.

Not to minimise or downplay what has happened in Kaikoura and the capital, but there were more people killed on the roads this last week than were killed during this devastating earthquake, and that is a huge positive to hold on to alongside the heroes.

In the meantime we wait for the aliens - or Jesus to show up and save us all.

We will continue to stand on shaky ground and no-one - not even the blessed Bishop - can predict when the next big one will happen.

For my two bobs' worth of cut and paste prophecies, we are all guests on this planet and as guests we look after our fellow guests - just like the people of Ngai Tahu at Takahanga Marae, and manaaki (look after) those we can with random acts of kindness at every opportunity.

If you are looking to look after someone in your own backyard with a heroic act, then find 10 mates and put in 10 bucks each to buy a bike for the 150 homeless kids we are holding a Koha Christmas for at the annual Santa Carrus Party on December 8.

I can't promise you salvation by giving but I can promise you more blessings than the Bishop.

These are children who didn't have a choice as to what disaster cards they were dealt, just like the people of Kaikoura. God didn't send them poverty, mankind did, and mankind can do what earthquakes cannot, by showing the true map of the human heart.

Not the blame it on the gays one.

"We could steal time, just for one day.

"We can be heroes, forever and ever.

"What'd you say?"

(Happy Birthday Mum - forever my hero)

broblack@xtra.co.nz

Tommy Kapai is a best-selling author and writer.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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