Kindness by Angela Caldin

I had a video call the other day with my family in Auckland. My youngest granddaughter ran towards the camera in a stripy nightie with the words be kind in white lettering on the front. Nice, I thought, better than so many of the annoying slogans on girls’ clothes such as: little miss attitude, cool kid alert, girls rule, princess, j’adore and totally in love with today. Then I thought about the sort of slogans we see on boys’ t-shirts such as: here comes trouble; young, wild and free, roarsome dude and… Read More

But for the grace of God by Susan Grimsdell

Our local paper is doing a series on lost children; those terrible cases where the child goes missing and is never seen again. Today’s story is about a two year old whose parents were visiting a friend.  The mother was a former drug addict, the father a gang member.  The friend had a house on a lake, very close to the water.  There were several kids, the adults were getting a barbecue together, lots of activity going on.  The child was seen near the driveway when one of the adults went off… Read More

Human spillage by Trevor Plumbly

Growing pains Over recent years I’ve noticed an increase in the number of ‘street people’ in my area of Auckland. Most (including me) either avoid them where possible or buy our way out with a couple of coins. In one form or another they’ve always been with us, but the recent increase in numbers should raise greater concern. In the past, they were dismissed as ‘deadbeats’, ‘addicts’ and ‘alkies’; thus the authors of their own misfortune, best left to the Salvation Army or, if things got out of hand, the Police. The… Read More

Nor any drop to drink by Trevor, Angela and Emily. Thoughts on the importance of water

Trevor speaks We need to take water more seriously. As we focus on saving electricity and oil, we need to educate ourselves into more intelligent use of clean water. Don’t waste it At home, habits like running taps and poorly planned hose use could be easily corrected, but commercial abuse is where the main threats lie. Dairy farmers use billions of litres for sterilizing and cleaning procedures; surely a lot could be recycled? Soft drink manufacturers are returning huge profits by producing untold amounts of what is medically accepted as gutrot, but… Read More

What is Happiness? by Angela Caldin

What is happiness? We know it when we experience it, but how can we define it? I heard this on ‘Thought for the Day’ on Radio 4 this morning and thought it came quite close: “Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” Thomas Merton (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968) was an American Catholic writer and mystic. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, he was a poet, social activist, and student of comparative religion. In 1949, he was ordained to the… Read More