I learnt so much from my upbringing in New Zealand. The greatest concept was to learn how to love fully and to eschew materialism in favor of caring for others. My best mate John took a message I sent out and reminded me again about his compassion and also how to apply great ideas.
I share his response with you to give you a glimpse of the great gift I had from living among such great people.
Kia ora e Paora
Our good city of Auckland and its infrastructure has been exhausted with the population explosion thats hit us in the last 5 years. The hot topic on our front pages every day is the high cost of housing and homelessness. The average house in Auckland is now valued a million dollars. They say there are 42,000 people out of home, however there are 22,000 empty houses in Auckland being landbanked by investors as they earn more by leaving them empty than having them tenanted as the rise in values goes up higher without tenants.
You are so right in what you said in your last paragraph: “The greatest challenge of life is not about things or accumulations, it is how you deal with and absorb what is available in each moment.”
I stumbled over a 54 year old homeless guy by the name of Stephen Williams in town the other night and he shared with me his grief of being arrested and taken into a police cell for 3 hours for erecting a cardboard box for his abode. I asked him what he was going to do about it, he said I’m going to take it to court as he quoted various laws and statutes of his rights. I commended him for his tenacity and went on to ask where is going to stay and he said he has a tent inside a tree on St Georges Bay Road, Parnell which is one of the highest priced area’s in Auckland. So I drove him to his abode on a double decker bus which he was blown away with in that a stranger would do that for him especially the treat of being on the top of a double decker.
I saw his abode and laughed because he doesn’t pay rent, rates, power, water, insurance’s, maintenance and repairs and yet he has a million dollar view overlooking the Waitemata harbour, he’s surrounded by tree’s and nature, has no neighbours, is right by a bus stop for transport and only walking distance to the main city.
In Stephen Williams case and in what you said, his greatest challenge of life is not about things or accumulations, it is how he is dealing with it. He has chosen to be homeless, although not all of our idea of a lifestyle but he told me about the homeless in Auckland was that they have chosen to be homeless.
He said theres only 30 hardcore homeless people in Auckland in which he is one of them. The other 42,000 homeless are those families in shared housing, living out of garages, sheds, cars and otherwise. He said they too have made their choice of their style of homelessness.
This might well be Stephen Williams answer to Auckland’s housing problems but it certainly opened my eye’s to another perspective that as you said, “only the best can understand and digest the best. Where are you on your ability to accept and integrate these ideas?”
Going back to Stephen Williams cardboard box abode, take a look at this link and a home made of cardboard, he may well have an answer in his own rights afterall: