Woke up this morning feeling wearied, and weighted, by the woes of the big world and of my little domestic world. On the home front, there was the minor despair of realising that the repair work on my bathroom had stalled yet again. On the international front, there was the sadness of remembering that today, 6 August, is Hiroshima Day. And to make the 68th anniversary of that dreadful day even more distressing, there was the news of further problems at the Fukushima nuclear power station; namely that radioactive water has been leaking in to the sea. http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/9006381/Radioactive-water-emergency-at-Fukushima
What next, I woe..ed to myself. Some port wine, or gin, to fortify my spirits, as recommended to our women folk in years long gone by. Not quite the tonic at 10 in the morning, I decided, but only just. Also I didn’t have any in the store cupboard :). So, what next? Well, what came next was exactly the tonic I needed. It was a television interview with our New Zealand Wonder Woman, Helen Clark. Helen Clark used to be our Prime Minister. She was the first woman in New Zealand to be elected Prime Minister http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Clark Her government was defeated in 2008, and Helen, looking weary and disheartened ( at least, I thought so), resigned from politics. In 2009, she was appointed head of the United Nations Development Programme; she is the first woman to hold that position. And, she has recently been appointed for a second, four-year term. According to Forbes, this makes our Helen the 21st most powerful woman in the world and a possible candidate for the first female United Nations Secretary General.
But it’s not Helen’s power, or her ‘firsts’ for women, that inspire me the most. It is her compassion, her love of her family, her hard work and her wonderful intelligence. Oh…and her skiing and mountain climbing prowess are impressive, too. It was a joy to hear her talk this morning about the importance of bringing hope and resilience to places like Haiti and Niger. She is obviously challenged and energised by the problems of the world; tackling them with intelligence and common sense and profound understanding. She has found her feet on the international stage and she is thriving again. Helen, good Helen, I thought, if the world is in your hands, we have hope.
Hopefully, this link to the interview will work for those of you who are interested and live outside New Zealand.
And, if there is hope for the world, there is hope for my bathroom. A minor problem, for sure, but vexing all the same. I have a feeling that Helen, being the good Kiwi lass she is, would have got stuck in with paint and plaster and fixed the problem herself by now.