In a couple of sleeps this year is all over bar the shouting and we hold on for dear life to this planet that hurtles through the universe toward another year of the unknown.

A year where anything but the expected will happen and the unexpected will become the norm.

It is always at this time of the year we reflect on the one gone by and try and crystal ball gaze into the one ahead. And, just like The Hotel California, we can check out of each year but life itself we can never leave - until it leaves us

So best we make the most of it, huh?


If there ever was inspiration in a word to guard and guide us into the New Year, it surely must be the one chosen as the word of the year for 2018 – Kindness.

For any of you who have read one of my past 800 or so confusing, sometimes amusing mixed message columns over the past 18 years, you will know I am a fan and follower of his holiness the Dalai Lama XIV. My mate Mr Lama has a laid-back look at life that I can live with and by and when asked what was his religion is he said;

"My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."

Tautoko (agree) with you on that one, bro. Kindness in my opinion is a religion well worth tithing to simply because no act of kindness or act of caring for Mother Earth and her brother Papatuanuku, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

According to another of my gaggle of gurus I look up to, Mr Mark Twain said "Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see" so it makes sense to stop trying to make any sense out of the madness this planet has going on right now - other than the sense and sensibility of kindness.

If ever there is a way to trump Trump, it surely has to be with the card of Kindness.

Everything the man personifies is devoid of kindness, so why not counter his korero by trading in the fair trade of kindness, starting with the universal language of kindness - and its trademark warm smile.

Some of the Don's supporters would say in the deep south of the states, real smiles, kindness and honesty would be downright crazy and enough to scare a possum off a president's head


Warm smiles are foreign to the self-centred fellow human beings on this planet, none more so than the most powerful of its residents who would say global warming and warm smiles are not worth retweeting.

Let me say this to you from the other side of the world Mr Orange Roughy:

We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by being nicer to each other and one thing in life you can bank on besides death and taxes – and global warming, is life becomes easier and more beautiful when we can see the good in other people.

I like to think I am in the kindness business. As chief imagination officer of a company which trades in empathy, I come across people who are illogical, unreasonable and self-centred, but you be kind to them anyway, it completely throws them off their instant gratification game.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. I see it all the time, mostly by those who do bugger all for anyone else but themselves.

In Māoridom we call it mana munching and it's not a good tribe - just like the Ngāti Whingers, to belong to.

Some see kindness as a weakness, however, for my two bobs' worth of toha toha (sharing), kindness is not a weakness but a beatitude. As per the Oxford Dictionary "Kindness means the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate ... A person who has the quality of being kind, can cease to be kind when the situation demands".

Clever fulla that Mr Oxford, I think he is a koro of Uncle Google.

Kindness is the ability to place the needs of others in front of your own, to be selfless and to empathise with those around you.

Empathy is a cornerstone of kindness. and once we can get past sympathy and stop feeling sorry for those in our community who need strategic kindness, will we then turn back the tide of homelessness and street begging.

Being bold and declaring our city to be the Kindness Capital of the country is a cool kaupapa.

So here's to the good ship Kindness and all who choose to sail on her in 2019

Bon Voyage friends and whānau and hold on to your potae - its going to be a doozey dozen months coming up.