A few weeks back I was pondering what would be needed to get this humble blog of mine in front of a few more eyeballs. As someone who checks the data on his blog fairly regularly, I can get a decent sense as to whether folks (like you, good reader) are roaming over to my cozy section of the Internet to feast their eyes on my written offerings. I get some spikes here and there, but not the consistent increase over time I am really hoping for… at least not yet.
As I pondered what I needed to do differently and feeling just the slightest bit sorry for myself (cut me some slack… it happens), an e-mail rolled in that clearly changed around my day. The e-mail was from a woman in New Zealand who happened to find my blog while Googling “acerbus et ingens”. And get this… she likes the blog. No… seriously, she does. I am 99% sure she wasn’t just screwing with me. The Kiwis are a fabulous people, so I think this is straight-up legit.
New Zealand… as shown on my snazzy floaty globe. Well, sorta shown. Right there beneath “OCEANIA”.
Her e-mail was pretty incredible in terms of the chaos in her own life and that of her neighbors over the span of the last year with the earthquakes in New Zealand. If anything can put life into quick, sharp perspective, it’s massive natural events that are beyond human control. It’s hard to feel all-powerful when Nature decides to get rambunctious, to say the least.
But two things jumped out at me most about her e-mail that I knew I would need to share:
1) That everyone can connect with others in the world… and sometimes at great distances. I don’t mean this as some kind of pat-on-the-back statement at all – my new Kiwi friend found my blog enjoyable and rather amusing, so I am not saying that she found each carefully crafted sentence of my blog to be a life-affirming event for her… umm, but if she wants to write me another e-mail to that effect, I really wouldn’t mind all that much. But somehow, some way, I wrote something that at least connected with a person I’ve never met in a country I’ve never been to. Think about the impact you can make even more easily with the people you come in contact with every day.
2) Kia kaha! Umm… come again, Kuzia? Kia what-a? The close out to her e-mail to me was “Kia kaha!” which she explained is Maori for “stay strong”. Now, besides the fact that it is a double-K phrase (which matches beautifully with having a double-K name, hence my fandom is fully established), it’s also such a short, punchy and beautiful way to say something so incredible powerful. Stay strong. A bit amazing to get a message from a complete stranger with a message in Maori to stay strong, no? Especially during a moment of sneaking self-doubt?
And speaking of strength and Maori culture… this is still the coolest thing any sports team can do pre-game. The Ray Lewis pre-game chant has utterly zero on this badassery:
Boom. Get some.
So to my friend down in New Zealand… you probably never realized how well-timed your note was, but for that note, I thank you for getting me turned around in the proper direction on a day when I felt the sticky resistance of frustration snagging at my feet and preventing forward momentum. Truly and deeply appreciate it.
And to everyone else? Connection… something we all need in our lives as the inherently social creatures we are… is sometimes just an extra bit of effort away. Make the effort and reap the rewards,
3 Replies to “Kia Kaha and the Art of Connection”
Well Mr Kuzia, I am blushing!!! Promise you that I totally like your blog, pinky swear 😉
It has been my pleasure to converse with you on the other side of the world and I am honoured you describe me as your friend. I’m also totally stoked (kiwi phrase) that I was able to give you a wee lift….we all need those from time to time.
Finally, YES we have the coolest, most heroic sporting team…..they are adored here and it’s not hard to see why.
Kia kaha Kevin Kuzia
Why thank you, Ms. Kate. The timing and content of your note were exactly the remedy I needed to get going again in the proper direction. And fear not… we say stoked here too. 🙂
Kia kaha….I like it! And you are right, connection is the coolest. I’m beginning to think my son-in-law is right, that the people of New Zealand are some of the best. He served his mission there and can’t wait to make a return visit. Congrats to you and your new friend.