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Recognising what you are offered

posted 4 Apr 2014, 01:39 by Sandra Kirby
I realise some days that I have a very privileged position.  Trouble with privilege is it is often hard to recognise it at the time.  Today I had an invite for a function at Goverment House for ANZAC of the Year Award. I was in two minds about going - lots to do; Friday evening; Tony heading away all seemed good reasons to flag it.  But having patronage from Governor General for Arthritis NZ does have obligations so I went.  I was thinking about how thrilled Nana was at going to Govt House as part of Arthritis NZ awards in 2012. Unlike some other events I have attended this was quite small.  As it was an RSA event my anti war sentiments were raised.  But here I was at Govt House with the Major General of the Army and head of Air Force thinking wouldn't Chris Eley be jealous of this?   Met a couple of people I knew and for whom it was their first visit.  They were overwhelmed by the pomp and ceremony.  Then a introduced myself to a man who was there as grandfather of the 15 year old boy who had won the speech competition.  He was so proud - reminded me of Nana with puffed up chest.  
The main event though was the ANZAC award.  The winner is Banapa Avatea - Principal of Huntley West School.  He commutes to his school from Auckland.  One day on his way to work he noticed a truck weaving along the road.  He drew up in his car alongside truck - saw driver slumped over wheel.  Eventually he and another man managed to get into truck - while still moving, worked out man was in diabetic distress, provided sugar and saved truck drivers life.  The citation then noted once emergency services arrived Banapa continued on his way to work.  Just another day at the office.  Banapa Avatea was there with his family including his mother.  More puffed chests.  More people overwhelmed family members.  Very much put my reluctance into context.  I have opportunities that others don't ever expect to experience.
And another opportunity is the trip to Tokyo tomorrow.  So in humble gratitude I recognise that I have a very privileged existence.