I suspect that many of us in the Canterbury region have been navel gazing and contemplating life since the aftershocks/quakes on Monday. It left me with a sense of anger and frustration more so than the previous events in September and February. Although things have been far from normal since February, an element of normality was there with those that could returning to work, roads being patched, water becoming safe to drink, many having working sewerage etc.
Our children are our future, and when these types of things occur, it encourages you to checkpoint and consider if I’m doing the right thing by them in terms of the present and future.
Here’s a few thoughts I have:
Children are resilient and their needs are simple – a roof over their head, food, drink, people around them that love, support and care for them. So long as these basic needs can be met, the kids will continue to be happy and deal with things as they come along. The opportunity for us as parents is to be as honest as we can about the changes, and install confidence in them that things will get better.
These kids I believe as they grow up will be something very special. They have had to deal with change, fear, uncertainty, disruption and adapt (some better than others of course). I believe what this creates is a individual who becomes less fearful of the unknown who is better armed to deal with the present and through the journey we have ahead of us, sees possibility and opportunity - I look forward to them entering the workforce. The only barriers we have are the ones we put up, equally I think they will challenge decisions of old, validate or encourage and drive change.
I was listening to More FM this morning, the crew were driving around the eastern suburbs offering small gifts of cash to those so badly affected. The last gentleman visited was badly damaged in the September quake (and still hasn’t heard or seen anyone from EQC) as they drove up the driveway, all you could hear was pouring water. The water up the drive was over the wheels on the 4WD vehicle. Since Monday 60000 litres of water had been drained from this street with the aftershocks subsequently bringing it all back. It’s soul destroying hearing these types of stories, and I’m positive there are many more like this that have not yet been reported.
I know a few people that have left town since Monday. There is NO shame in this, if it’s the right thing to do for you and your family, take the break, collect your thoughts and do what’s best for your family. A home is something you go home to after work and want to enjoy on the weekends. The psychological damage of going home to a house that reminds you of the damage across the city has a huge impact on the headspace people are in, as well as your ability to relax. I also understand the sense of feeling trapped – People with damaged houses still have commitments in terms of mortgages which can make it harder to make decisions about staying or leaving Christchurch.
The road a head won’t be a short nor easy one, I’m optimistic and excited about the future for Christchurch and see a wealth of possibilities in terms of a new city with world class infrastructure that offers opportunities for the young and old. It’s about making smart decisions now with the future in mind for not only Christchurch, but look at how we can leverage this for the greater good of New Zealand.