I have had an interesting variety of feedback over my inclusion in The Life wise Big Sleep Out.
For the cynics amongst us there are those who think I am purely doing it for the exposure and networking opportunity whilst for others they shake their head and laugh at the thought of me so extremely outside of my comfort zone.
Perplexing, as it may seem I do actually have a small social conscience and every now and then it can be massaged and exposed. I am embracing the PR opportunity as a way to raise awareness and if the idea of me suit less, tie less and wearing a pair of shoes not hand made in England makes people donate then so be it.
I am even contemplating setting myself some sartorial challenges to raise more money and have 1 person prepared to offer me $500.00 if I choose to sleep in a onsie (bespoke of course).
There are two main motivations for me taking part.
The first is my daughter Arabella, who is tenacious, pig headed and opinionated; Good qualities in any child. She is constantly berating me for my (supposed) lack of empathy and very recently quizzed me (again) on my apparent lack of desire to do good in the community. Now she might shut up.
The second is more personal.
I have been homeless twice in my life and both times stick in my mind as a bad memory. I recall how easily it happened to be in that situation and how I felt desperate and couldn’t see any way out.
The first time was in Sydney when I was very young (just 18) and had simply run out of money and run out of options. It was one person’s good deed that gave me the break I needed to get things back on track. The next time was when I first moved to Auckland and once again I managed to get by on the good grace of others.
It is not something I have ever been particularly proud of and until now it is something I have never really spoken of but the pending experience makes me remember how it feels.
Everything happens for a reason and life is one long series of challenges. For many people they just need that one thing to go their way to help get them back on track.
I am hoping that the money I help raise can do this, but more importantly, it’s about showing the people I love and provide for now that we should never take anything for granted.