Sunday, August 14, 2011

Life Outside The Riots

Not that I'm not still thinking and arguing about them. The most disturbing response I've had is that some people are born a certain way, predisposed to lead useless lives; their environments have nothing to do with anything. A friend's facebook argument had one girl going further and making gender and ethnicity part of this equation. I had to stop reading.

I do want to say one thing about it today, though. Yesterday I was remembering when my sister told me her daughter (my wonderful niece) had just told her parents about a girl who had been bullying her at school. I was irate. I wanted to go and find this six-year-old and sort her out. I didn't think about why she might have been doing it, I just wanted her to pay. My sister told me more about the little girl. She has a difficult little life, and is very likely bullied herself at home, the place where everyone should feel safe. You know what? I didn't care. All I cared about was my niece. When I remembered this yesterday, I felt like a hypocrite of the highest order. I thought I should stop saying what I think about the riots, and just concentrate on applying what I believe to my own life. Then I thought, that's why people who aren't immediately, personally affected by the riots have to try to see the greater picture. Even if you're normally someone who would be able to do so, being in the thick of it impairs your judgement and gives you reason to be angry and perhaps irrational. I completely understand people who didn't necessarily have their businesses destroyed but had landmarks they loved burnt to the ground, being unwilling or unable to have more than just a desire to see people arrested. But we, with the advantage of distance, must. We have to keep our heads and learn from this. If we don't, it will happen again, and again.

Back to life outside the riots. There are many other things going on in the world and in my life. The crisis in East Africa, for one. If you can spare anything, you won't believe how much your money can do. Did you know you can join Red Cross and donate like twenty bucks a month straight from your account? That means they can plan and budget, and when something like this happens they can get moving straight away. Also that when you see people in the street trying to sign people up you can walk right by them and say I'm a member with a big smile, instead of crossing the road or faking a phonecall. Although I'm a member and still fake phonecalls in case they don't believe me when I say I'm a member. I have many problems.

And my life. On Thursday night, Vincent and I managed to get ten dollar tickets to the Auckland vs Counties Manukau game at Eden Park, and it was great. There wasn't a big crowd so we were allowed to sit anywhere, and moved all over the open stands to see the different views and figure out where we would sit for a Cup game if we had the choice. The crowd was fantastic; culturally diverse, lots of families, and lots of vocal supporters for both sides. We started off sitting in front of a Counties family, one of whose little boys had the best heckles we heard all night: "If you miss this, you're a stinky kicker!", and Vincent's favourite: "This is average rugby!" (which, for the most part, it was). I forgot my camera so I have nothing to show you, but Eden Park looks amazing. It was sad for me to see what used to be the terraces and think about the times I had there, and what a different beast the game is now. But it was exciting to see the old girl in her new duds, and to know that Auckland has a stadium worthy of the level of rugby NZ plays. And the toilets! Just you wait. The highlight for me had to be a portly little ball-boy whose arms were so short they barely reached around the back of him (sparking speculation as to how he manages to wipe his bottom). I wanted to kidnap him but I'm not sure we could afford to feed him... so I contented myself by watching him and sighing.

Finally, one of my favourite Fleet Foxes songs. It's been an interesting week. But it's made me realise a lot of things, one of which is that I'm the luckiest girl in the world to be married to someone who feels the same way I do about things, and backs me up, and encourages/eggs me on.

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