Daniel | Masterton, Wairarapa

“I’m a great believer in karma, and it exists world-wide. It is, to my belief, the only religion that you really need to follow. The idea that you can do something good for somebody and that it will re-return to you, not necessarily from that person, and not necessarily at that time, but maybe 10 years down the line.

Likewise if you do something bad to somebody, it doesn’t come back from them, but it comes back from somewhere else, 10 years down the line, 15 years, 20 years. Hey, the end of your life maybe. I mean, you might spend your last 10 years of life bloody going with cancer and major pain and suffering, and that’s because of something you did crook when you were young.

I’ve travelled the road quite a bit. I’ve lived and worked in 13 different countries, so I’ve experienced help from numerous people in numerous places over the years, and that is part of why I always endeavour to be kind to other people. I mean, they may be an arsehole, but there’s often a reason why they’re an arsehole, and that’s maybe just because of mistreatment in the past and a good deed can maybe help them see the other side.

I was in London years ago, and I had a problem with an infected toe. I’m a Type 1 Diabetic, and circulation issues go with being a Type 1 Diabetic, especially at my age. I was living on the street. I didn’t have an actual home to go to. I had my bag and what have you, and when I could afford to, I was staying in hostels or bed and breakfasts – cheap places, but I got hauled into a bloody hospital at St Thomas’ Hospital one night, and I was feeling like, absolute shit. I was just so down, felt so shit. And I was stressed out and I walked out the front entrance, and I was pacing up and down, and this guy was at the door there, and he said, mate you wouldn’t have a cigarette that I could grab, would you? And I was sort of like, oh actually yeah, go on. Then he said, here I’ve got some weed, would you like a bit. And, I was like, oh my God, thank you. Because, I knew that would help me calm down and put things into perspective, and it did, and it was just totally random, I’d never seen the guy before in my life. I’ve never seen him again since. But that really struck me. 

What do I value in life? Teamwork. People need to learn that they’re far better off working together than working against each other. The whole tall poppy syndrome is something that really does my head in and it is quite common, I think, in New Zealand. If somebody’s doing well get on board with them. It’ll help you do well, as well. 

I grew up in the Wairarapa, here. I went to Wairarapa College here in Masterton and to Rathkeale College, just up north in Masterton. I moved to Wellington when I was 21. I spent a couple of years in Wellington and then I moved to England. I was in England and the States and Canada and Europe for about four years. Then, I came home for six months, went travelling again. Went to West Australia. Went to South Africa. I spent most of my adult life living in England.

I’m currently on a benefit because I’m finding it very difficult to work, because of my leg issues. I am a bit down about it. I have been and tried to do a few jobs that I’m certainly well qualified to do, like tractor-driving and tree-lopping and tree surgery and what have you, but unfortunately my legs just won’t stand up to me being on them all day, and it’s just making it a bit difficult to find something suitable. Unfortunately, in New Zealand I find that jobs are a lot less specialised than they are in other parts of the word. You have to be capable of doing a bigger variety of things in your occupation, than you do in a lot of other places, and I mean, that’s not a diss. I’m not saying that as a downer to New Zealand. It’s just the way it is. I mean, you ain’t got many people, and you’ve got a big, old country which is widespread, and less than good infrastructure. 

But I’ve got a neighbour, we get on pretty well. He’s about my age, and he knows a lot of people that I knew when I was younger, and because I haven’t been here from 1988 through to 2016. So, what’s that? Twenty-eight years. I really had no contact with anybody much in the Wairarapa except for my family, but now Trev and I talk most days, and he’s certainly good for my head.”

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