When I first moved to Auckland, I came across a phrase I had never heard before about solving something with “Number 8 Wire”. What was that, I wondered?! Once explained and observed, I fell in love with this quirky facet of New Zealand culture. A quality borne out of geographical isolation that deeply embedded into its people the ability to improvise and adapt, to invent and to overcome.
No personal or professional problem I ever encountered was beyond the mentality of Kiwi Number 8 Wire. This uniquely powerful aspect of the collective Kiwi psyche is the can-do ability to problem-solve; to create ingenious solutions; to circumvent seemingly insurmountable problems and obstacles someway, somehow. I saw that with this mentality there was, and is, always a solution. Always a way round. Always some sort of cunning solution. Almost everything, it seemed, is figure-out-able with enough Number 8 Wire Mentality.
With the atrocious flooding, landslips and earthquakes in recent weeks, I know so many of you are hurting on many levels, caught up in Mother Nature’s powerful web through no fault of your own. We are all also observing the horrendous earthquake on the Syrian-Turkish border and its decimating impact, as well as, of course, the ongoing devastation in the war in Ukraine. The world is an uncertain and brutal place at the moment. Resilience is not just useful, but mandatory.
If you have been affected by these awful floods, I know you will be taking heart, as I have, by all the posts of people helping each other, and creating hope and help out of nothing but good old Kiwi Number 8 Wire. I cannot think of a nation who can better look after and get through this awful time – together – than the New Zealander’s. If you have been badly affected, my heart goes out to you. Even if you are a super independent person who is usually the “giver”, please reach out for help. One of the most powerful mantras for life is “give when you can, take when you must”. If this is your time, reach out and I know you will be met with so many helping hands, because there is a line of Number 8 Wire that runs through this nation and its people.
For now, here is an article I wrote way-back-when in The New Zealand Herald on 4 strategies to increase your resilience in tough times. It may speak to you (or someone you care about) today.