Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Why?.... someone tell me why?"

In our drop-in centre last Friday night an argument broke out. For a while three guys with clenched fists were eye to eye making nasty threats to one another and a woman was yelling. We settled things down but one guy and his retinue walked off making threats and mumbling.

I have been involved in a squabbling family. I open the paper and see bombings and read again and again of domestic violence.

The weird thing is that I meet with a whole heap of people each week and nearly all of them are basically nice, sensible and reasonable people. I want to know why do we get ourselves into so many fights? How come? I know a man who died last week. For years he never talked to his only living sister, nor she with him. They had some falling out years ago. Duh!? I remember a few months ago I gave him her address and phone number and suggested he make contact. Now he's gone and that time is lost! It's not worth the hassle, the hurt and the stress. Why can't we go the extra mile, give and take more and roll with the punches and let a few things go? Why are we so insecure we have to have our own way or so competitive that we have to put other's down? Why is it we struggle so hard to forgive?

I talked to a man who is arguing with his father. I wanted to yell at him, "Thank your lucky stars your children have a grandfather alive! Mine never did! Appreciate what you have, for heaven's sake!!! I would so loved to have been an adult alongside my father!" But I had to listen sensitively and try to understand..

One guy said, "Take them all up to the cancer ward, show them some people struggling to live, or waiting to die. Then ask them whether the fighting is worth it!"

I basically enjoy my life. I get a buzz out of most of what I do. But just lately I have been feeling the pain of all this conflict in the world about me. I know too that I have had my share of stupid fights, especially when I was younger. But why? Why do we do it?

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