Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Friday, November 26, 2010

Experts galore..about Pike River Mine.

I am just home from my drop-in centre. Often at my drop-in I am tempted to be unkind. Sometimes some people, who have not got a job, who have limited education and experience of life can tend to be very opinionated. They will tell me how to run my church, the drop-in centre and what is wrong with everyone else. Often I feel like saying, "How come if you are so knowledgeable you haven't got a job and you have to come to the drop-in for a free feed?" I think this opinionated approach to issues is part of the kiwi male way of expressing themselves. I don't know how many men I have come across who express definite opinions about what the rescuers should have done at the mine! "The pack of wooses! They should have bitten the bullet and gone in!" "There's a window of opportunity. They mucked around too much!" and so it goes on. I would guarantee that none of the guys I have heard pontificating have ever been down a mine! ... but still suddenly they are mine experts. ... OSH health experts! They know how to lead a police operation! etc. etc. We currently have so many mine experts in NZ that we should take over the world's mines! Every body is an expert.

I don't get nasty at these pontifications. What they are really saying is "I am sad that these guys are dead. I cannot comprehend how that can happen. It is unfair!" The world in "God's own" has come up with this unjust, very sad tragedy and they are trying to come to terms with it. They do not exactly know how to make contact with and name their feelings so they lash out in any way to try to somehow make sense of it all.

It is true that we men do not know how to name and express feelings. In my experience "know-alls" are often trying to give expression to some deep feeling - often related to some sort of insecurity. What we should be saying is really; "I am deeply sad and disturbed by this tragedy. It is hard to comprehend and I feel for the families and anyone associated with it. I know bugger all about mines, but I wish the outcome was different!"

But then again I am sounding like a know-all myself! Please put up with us kiwi male know-alls, listen to the insecure, frightened little boys behind the bluster, and be please be patient with us.

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