One of the disturbing uses of social media these days appears to be ‘shaming’ – picking on strangers over some superficial issue the ‘shamers’ demonise, in ignorance of context and circumstance. The fact that ‘shaming’ is so judgemental underscores what it actually is – bullying. History, alas, tells us that this sort of behaviour is part of the human … More Social media shaming is bullying – and must stop
An elderly woman boarded the train I was riding the other day. The carriage was crowded, but someone immediately gave up his seat for her. Random acts of kindness like this are what should happen in the world. They don’t – not nearly often enough. A lot of the problem, I think, flows from the … More It doesn’t take much to be kind – if we pay attention
The news from Paris has horrified me on so many levels. Part of the horror flows from the way the dark side of human nature has been – once again – starkly revealed by last week’s terror attacks. If we look across the world today – and back through history – that darkness is also evident in many … More Lessons of Paris: how to use kindness to defeat humanity’s dark side
I have a small gripe. Vandals keep tagging a power pole just along from where I live. Marking territory, animal-fashion. It happens every few weeks. The local council always has it painted out within the day; but it highlights what, for me, is one of the saddest sides of the human moral compass. Vandalism. If somebody has … More Is vandalism part of the human condition?
Last Sunday my wife and I were out for a walk along the Hutt river, which flows into Wellington harbour. It was a pleasant autumn morning. And then we found someone lying at the bottom of the stop-bank. He looked derelict. He might have been sleeping, or maybe drunk or something. But he didn’t look right, so I ran … More Helping some guy who was having a heart attack – and thoughts on our duty of care
Even after nearly twenty years, I have not quite forgiven the producers of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, for a sequence filmed in the Savage Memorial above Auckland harbour: ‘The Wedding of Alcemene’, involving a cheesy 1990s-era CGI monster named Perfidia. Michael Joseph Savage was arguably New Zealand’s greatest Prime Minister. His government came to power … More Of moral compass and our human duty of care
It’s Christmas again. Where has 2013 gone? Why, the way every year does – quickly, in a sea of good intentions and reorganised plans. I hope everybody has a wonderful festive season. Whether it’s snowing or high summer. And that, somewhere along the way, we get the chance to bring a little more cheer to … More It’s Christmas. Again.