It’s mental health month in Aotearoa and I’m thinking about mental strength as I read the children’s book, “The White Mouse”, with my daughter. It’s the story of Kiwi nurse, reporter and spy, Nancy Wake. In our first reading we learned that Nancy’s husband was forced to join the French army to defend France from Germany. Nancy wanted to do something to help too, so she got a truck from her husband’s work, converted it into an ambulance, taught herself how to drive it, taught herself how to be a nurse, and drove to the war zone to hep refugees.
In today’s reading we discovered that Nancy had a close friend named Ian Galloway, a Scottish soldier who had helped her to fight undercover against the Nazis. One day, Ian was caught and taken to a prison camp. Nancy responded by making a plan to free him. She went to the prison camp and bribed one of the guards to bring a spare guard uniform into the prison. The next day Ian walked out of the prison disguised as one of the guards and escaped to freedom.
I think the resilience and mental strength of Nancy is pretty amazing. I wonder where that quality came from. Where did she get that attitude of no back down and finding a way through every challenge? It’s not easy to do that sometimes ay guys, sometimes it seems like we have no strength and can’t find hope. I think one good thing to do is to read these stories of overcomers and be inspired by them. Sometimes I want to stay away from the news and from social media because there’s a lot of negative stories on there that can make me feel down, and make me lose hope. That present a world that looks bleak. I’m enjoying reading about someone who didn’t see life like that, even though facing death. And I like sharing those kinds of stories too … we need more of them. And they’re out there, everywhere, heroes in our midst, everyday champions who fill us with hope and that’s one powerful way to mental wealth. Blessings guys, manuia!