Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Images of sickness...

  • The week started with a picture in the  newspaper of a house in Mosgiel (A township within the wider Dunedin City) which had suffered an explosion. Apparently two young men (18 - 19) had been "huffing" from an LPG cylinder when there was the massive explosion. "Huffing" is inhaling the gas to get some sort of narcotic reaction/experience. Two of them are severely burnt and critically ill! On Tuesday as I spoke with people from the emergency services I received some of the horrific details and read the concern in the faces of those who attended the scene. Why do teenagers imbibe in such behaviour? The prevalence of such things as glue/gas sniffing, drug taking and the abuse of alcohol is for me a real concern. It is a symptom of empty lives, lives lacking purpose, meaning and direction and it is deeply sad.
  • I read too in the papers and on the internet of street brawls, stabbings and violence among young people in various incidents around the country. Why? It is irrational. 
  • The trial of Ewan McDonald for the murder of Scott Guy has been hitting the headlines. While he was found not guilty, lots of dysfunction and distortion within the wider families has been brought to life. It seemed relationships in the extended family had been poisoned by jealousy and greed. One commentator said, "Such things are in all our families, it has just been exposed in this one." Well ... "no" not in all our families! But, unfortunately, I do know of many families in which greed has ruined relationships.
  • A coroner's report on the death of a young teenager in an accident on the road leading to our place has shown it was because of the use of cannabis. So sad.
Such events leave me feeling sad. Wasted precious lives. I am aware too of not just the lives in the incident, but there is always collateral damage and stress others have to carry. Such incidents make me want to work harder to show a different constructive, life-valuing and life-enhancing way of life. 
Medical questions...
I have something happening in my body that needs investigated. I have made an appointment, but it is annoying and leaves me with a certain amount of apprehension and uncertainty. Part of me wants to stop and take time out while I get it sorted, but that is unnecessary.  It is an annoying distraction. At such times I learn to admire those who live day in and day out with difficult health issues that are not going to get better. So often they face such situations with courage and positivity. I need to learn from them.

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