You can understand how some organisations get heavily criticised by the public on social media - media companies losing sight of what news really is, banks mouthing off about buying a P-house as a first home, but charities who are trying to help the most deprived? Same deal, same tone. One commenter, a fan of eugenics, questions giving to Unicef's South Sudan Appeal: "Why? So they can become Muslim terrorists. Teach them birth control or sterilise them. There is NO NEED for millions of little children to suffer like this. Do something positive." And another commenter, Angela, is no bleeding heart either: "that child doesn't look starved either," she writes.
The greatest compliment
"I was 10 and together Dad and I were poring over the newly arrived National Geographic magazine," writes Lynne Tanner. "It had a fold-out double-page with a huge map and arrows and captions about the migration of bison across early America. I made some comment about some consequence of what I was seeing. He stopped, looked at me and said "you are a very deep thinker". When I have struggled with my looks, my weight, and the stresses of adult life in general, I know that I can think and can process thoughts deeply because my dad told me I could. I will never forget the impact this one little statement has had upon my life."
"I saw the opportunity to park in front of the logging trailer parked in Dargaville and thought it would be hard case".
Kindness of strangers
"I walked to the top of Rangitoto on Saturday with a mate," writes Richard Symonds of Hillsborough. "We made it to the summit when I found my knees and feet reluctant to bend without causing bad pains. Coming down I was going slower and taking more rest stops. Just as I was thinking I was going to be marooned, two people, Kelly and Kim, came up behind us and asked if anything was wrong. From there they kept me upright and on the path. Even so we were still a fair distance from the boat. At that point three fellows in Kelly and Kim's group came looking for us and elected to carry me to the boat, running possibly 1 or 2km and right on to the boat. The Fuller's steward on the boat was also remarkably kind, providing water and coffee and a croissant. He also provided a wheelchair to help me get to the car which my mate drove home. I am most grateful to everyone who helped us."
Existential Office Emails... "Morning, Rob-Hope your weekend was an effective numbing agent against the spiritual oppression that is your every waking work hour! Did you and Nance take the boat out? In light of the Q4 results, we're back to that conversation about rightsizing. The question we must ask ourselves is, What is the "right" size of an abyss of illusion? Twenty per cent? Let's touch base soon! It's been so long since the base has felt a human touch. Has it forgotten us, as we forget ourselves? Beth".
Video: The trailer for New Zealand-made documentary Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web...
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