I am ususally focused on solutions rather than problems, however, today I want to talk about a problem for which there is no short-term solution. Let me explain. I have been looking after my grandson lately and taking him for walks with the stroller in the neighbourhood. Residing in a predominantly Pakeha suburb, I can almost walk blindfolded on the sidewalks and crossing streets, and people will open doors and stopping their cars mid-street for me and my grandson. I thought, Gosh these Kiwis are really so polite and valuing Childhood / Motherhood / Nanahood. In the back of my mind though, I found it a bit strange that none of these polite people bothered to stop and have a look at the baby or conversing with me about the child. Even young mothers walking their babies make room very pro-actively, in passing us by on the sidewalk, but they do not pause for a second to greet any one of us. One day, out of the blue, appeared a darkish man (Māori), who had to pass me and he instantly began to interact with my grandson and then with me. Gotcha! I could then define the Māori-Pakeha problem: Māori operates from the heart and Pakeha operates from the mind (I am now generalising of course). The matter of the fact is that this Māori man made my day while the Pakeha people actually annoy me, because their politeness makes me having to speed up in order to accept their kindness, while all I want to do is enjoy a relaxing time out. For me, the Māori man was doing the right things while the Pakeha neighbours were doing the things right. The problem remains: Māori (and so me, my children & grandchildren) cannot really be successful in a Pakeha world.
|Susanna Susara Kruger||
Author, Speaker, Educator & Entrepreneur