Monday, September 12, 2011

What motivates us to act?

It is amazing what can be organised, depending on the reward and motivation.

Yesterday it was an absolute pleasure and privilege to work with 60+ volunteers and declutter the silt, liquefaction and other related earthquake debris from Christchurch's eastern suburbs. We did it because we could. We made a difference and many people who benefitted from the day of shoveling, digging, clearing and moving. For some it was as simple as opening a cupboard for the 1st time since February and others making a path so they can hang their clothes to dry.
This event was all done by volunteers and organised over a period of 5 weeks. We had folks from all walks of life arrive ready to get down and dirty from Tom who is 8, to John in his 70's and everyone in between. One of the local radio stations 91ZM arrived at lunch time to cook up a BBQ and we all sat and chatted before heading of to do some more work. We had equipment donated by companies such as Fonterra, whittakers and Coldstore, and a happy base at the Waimari Methodist Church.
Everyone went home, tired and sore but totally satisfied at the positive action and organising that had taken place. All volunteers saying they were keen to do it again.
I am also keen to work with the amazing crew of Deon, Ali, Ben, Mark, Betty and Others to organise another "Lets get it done" Event. We called it "Lets get it Done" because we are about action, doing, being positive and getting things done. Next time I want at least 300 Volunteers and we will be getting loads done.
In contrast today there is a Rally (Protest variety) in roughly the same area of Christchurch, I was dismayed to see a picture of this rally and the turn out was huge by the look of the image I saw. I know people are hurting and angry, and this post is likely to piss a few people off, but why cant the energy be turned into POSITIVE ACTION as opposed to negative placard waving and words. There is a veritable community army protesting about land values and payouts, when in reality the Government were not obliged to step in and do the insurance negotiating on their behalf, and the residents to are not obliged to accept the offers made to them and they can negotiate themselves. However still the Community came together to Rally their feelings.
My question is "How do we get the same number of people to come together for a positive event, like "Lets get it Done"?" I know of one volunteer yesterday who is from a RED ZONE home, the others I believe are from parts of Christchurch not effected in the same way as the Eastern Suburbs. It was not an exclusively Eastern Suburbs event as help was sent to Tai Tapu and Lyttelton, however we did the majority of the work within the Eastern Suburbs.
I want to know where the residents who are protesting today, were yesterday? Is one of them the man who expected our volunteers to move car bodies and tyres in his yard (not earthquake related, just junk)? How many of them could have helped the elderly get to their mailboxes, clothes lines or even open their back doors by shoveling some silt and liquefaction? How do we get them to take positive community action instead of protesting?
I would love to hear any solutions or suggestions to this. As I know the reward for positive action is longer lasting and far reaching in comparison to the negative energy and resentment that can come from protest.
So look at what you organise and the implications, make it positive and long lasting, oh and spread the word so others can benefit from helping others and growing positive community