Glen | Glen Eden
“My story of kindness is, when I was 14 years old someone taught me to play basketball, and was a bit of a role model to me.
Along with that basketball he taught me how to forgive, which changed the whole direction of my life. That strength has been with me throughout my whole life. So, forgiveness and power; pretty powerful.
Yeah, so basically with that story, I’ve paid it forward pretty much, you know, 34 years later. There’s a street in South Auckland called Smiths Ave, and I went down there five months ago, and saw it needed a little bit of help, saw there were young guys just like me at that age. So, we ended up dropping a brand new basketball court on Smiths Ave, to the value of $120,000 for the community, no questions asked. We didn’t want anything back, and the young people in the families get involved, and it’s really impacted the street. The court’s called 2110. It’s just paying it forward, just to be able to give back, and you know, keep Auckland beautiful. It’s about sharing the love, sharing the wealth. There’s always a better way.
So, through my life I’ve done different things. I ended up in the Police, and I spent five years in the Police. I started reaching out and working with people with a basketball, and again sharing that, that story of forgiveness. So, actually did quite well in the Police; won the New Zealand, sorry the Auckland City Safety Awards, got a commendation from the Mayor, and then I stepped down from the Police.
I’ve been running a charity called There’s a Better Way, helping young people through basketball, playing on the world stage and giving out. Sports is a great equaliser for people from different races, different backgrounds. Once you step on the court, doesn’t matter your background; you’re all equal. So, we use sport as a connection tool to reach out to our young people, and then once we’ve connected and we’ve built that friendship then we can talk about the nitty gritty things in life, and hopefully help each other out.
So that’s become my passion. That’s become who I am, and you know, while I’m around on this earth, that’s what I want to do; give and keep showing the generations now and to come that we’ve got to evolve, in light and positivity, and empower each other going forward. You can be as smart as you want with your phones, all the technology, you know. We’re pretty smart, we’re pretty clever, but we’re still poisoning our oceans. There’s still poverty, so I don’t think we’re that smart at all. We need a wake-up call. We need to evolve as people. That’s my gig.
So kindness; kindness is more important than people think it is. I use kindness as part of, the Fruit of the Spirit that’s spoken about; love, peace, patience, kindness and that. A lot of people just see that as something nice. You know? People sitting around and singing Kumbaya, it’s not really relevant today. The fact that we actually step out and show kindness is actually very powerful and it’s needed in Auckland City and right across New Zealand, and the world right now. There’s a lack of kindness. It’s all about me. It’s never about you, but we ain’t going to survive unless we carry that spirit of kindness and step out, and balance it out with the rest of our lives. So, it’s a challenging situation right now, you know, especially when it comes to not just religion, but why should people be kind? More negativity on Facebook. There’s more negativity around the world. It’s cooler to be more negative, to be smart, you know, too look down on other people. That’s the trend. It’s a very dangerous trend. We need to spin it round and bring the hype back around positivity, kindness.
I’m all about evolving. When I say evolving, you know, how can we better ourselves? I’m about, you know, looking after each other, not just with the material side of things, but also the planet now. I’m also about respecting tangata whenua which is Māori, the people of the land, and above all that, having a good time and, and enjoying life.”