Paddock Vision

– By How to DAD –

To start this piece-of-words thing I thought I’d come up with a clever title. What is the opposite of tunnel vision? Bridge vision? Panoramic vision? Paddock vision!? Not as clever as I’d hoped for, but has a bloody decent Kiwi ring to it so I’ll stick with that.

PADDOCK VISION. We need more people with paddock vision.

I grew up in a small rural town and, like a lot of small New Zealand towns were back then, I had quite conservative views, my family had quite conservative views. The more liberal city folk would have said we had tunnel vision. That we suffered from tunnel vision.

For the past ten years I've lived in the ‘big smoke’. I’ve travelled a lot around this globe of ours, encountered new…encounters? I’m also married and have three kids (three daughters – please send help). For a 30 year old I like to think I’ve seen a lot, but did I see enough? Yes.

Back in 2007, Auckland rubbed off on me, thick and fast. The cliche ‘melting pot’ of people from all walks of life knocked me for six for a few months – but you are what you, that's not right, can we just say, you are what you live? My tunnel was demolished pretty quickly, sometimes by other ideas smacking me behind the ears, but mainly by me opening my eyes to new things, smashing down slabs of concrete myself.

Just by meeting new people and listening, I started to feel the paddock grass under my feet.

Listening to people with different opinions to mine: from simple things like, what flavour pizza is the best to people with very determined, strong opinions on curbing racism, people fighting for same-sex marriage, global warming solutions and women's rights.

I didn’t always agree with everything this melting pot poured on me, but it opened my mind to new ways of thinking. My tunnel with its single one-way lane was long gone. Go back 25 years to my small town and these ideas, these big thinkers would have been brushed aside, laughed at or rammed out of the tunnel.

I would say that travel opened my way of thinking, but nowadays with the internet, every Kiwi can hear ideas from all around the world. You don’t need to leave your living room to start thinking differently, appreciating others opinions and broadening your own awareness of the world. It’s 2018 and I’d love to think all of New Zealand is now more open to change. I’d like to think we are all standing in a paddock, the boundaries of our comfort zones a distant rusty No. 8 wire fence.

Sadly, as many of you will witness now and again, there are still people throughout New Zealand stuck in a tunnel. Too much smog in there, Bro. Get ya self some Paddock Vision.

Paddock Vision, $59.99. Headset only, batteries not included.

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Illustration by Peter Campbell

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Paddock Vision - How to Dad