'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Saturday, 9 August 2008

Tall Poppies

Apparently there are only three types of people who pick things up properly.  Children, pregnant women, and people who have previously hurt their back by picking things up wrongly.

I had a sore back for three or four days last week.  

My friend, a retired electrician, told me that Precious McKenzie (above) came a couple of times to his work-place and taught him how to lift things up properly.  

I remember that my back bible  "Treat Your Own Back" was written by a McKenzie.  So I get it out and find it's not Precious, but Robin.  

Both of these men are New Zealanders, and both highly regarded in their field, but known mostly in other countries.  This is not uncommon here.  We have an expression "Tall Poppy Syndrome".  It means that 'tall poppies', especially those on their way up, are not appreciated nor supported, even 'cut down to size'.  

Yet New Zealanders are inordinately proud of fellow countrymen and women, when they do make it up there.  Just not a lot of help on the way.  The list is long, and begins with the likes of Earnest Rutherford.

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