I underwent a "Road to Damascus" experience recently. My second, as it happens.
The first was a somewhat mundane affair by comparison, involving a Jordanian truck spilling it's load of several thousand potatoes some 50 kilometres south of Damascus and my having to brake hard to avoid mashing them.
But this second experience was altogether more spiritual and enlightening, and took place thousands of miles away in the Hawke's Bay.
I was putting in some fencing for my new pig pen with my brother in law, a farmer. Well, to be strictly accurate, he was putting in the fencing, I was assisting. I'm a bit of a novice in such things.
One of my carefully concreted fence posts had, under the force of the wire straining, reclined at an angle of some 45 degrees, and to be honest, was clearly the product of some pretty shoddy work. Mine.
Disaster stared us in the face, and I was at a loss to know what to do.
But Richard simply looked at it. Silently, for a good five minutes. Then he turned to me and said: "Go and get your chainsaw"
To cut a long story short, using chainsaw, spade and some off cuts he built a brace. No nails or screws, just physics.
"That should do the job", he said, giving it a hefty boot with his size 11s. And it did. The post didn't even tremor.
And it was at that moment that I got it. This whole Kiwi ingenuity thing, the number 8 wire mentality.
14 years of mild scorn for this "make do" approach to life vanished. I suddenly realised what it was all about, how this land had been built.
Strong, silent men with a determination to achieve their goals, not letting the obstacles in their path derail them. Seeking solutions, using what tools and resources they had available, and sheer bloody hard work.
No whingeing, no moaning, no waiting for someone else to do it for them. They just got on with the job.
It's hard to describe quite how inspiring a moment this was. And conversely, a depressing one too. Because it put me in mind of that new generation of Kiwis, those devoid of drive and determination, whose modus operandi is to whine and to blame and to expect an easy ride at someone else's expense.
When did we lose this indomitable spirit? How did we arrive at this sorry state of society we now ensure?
We could blame urbanisation, we could blame technology. But to change the philosophy of an entire nation? To generate the hatred and envy, the sloth and the irresponsibility which drives so many?
If you think I exaggerate, spend 5 minutes immersing yourself in the Waiheke Parliament, that cesspool of the forlorn. It is the antithesis of everything that New Zealand should represent, a whirlpool of whingers for whom the only solution is that the government pays.
There is a certain irony in the nationalities of most of it's members. Few if any are real Kiwis, just immigrants who choose to try and mould their adopted nation to their own demands.
But it is, sadly, representative of many in this country. Many who have little or no idea of why those who are of real Kiwi pedigree are proud to be New Zealanders.
It makes me sad, aye, and angry too.
So I say this with more than a little rancour: get off your fat, lazy arses, you whiners, you moaners, you bludgers and you losers, get out of your cities, your suburban rentals and your hovels of hatred, and go into New Zealand, the real New Zealand, and seek inspiration, on the road to Damascus, or the road to Te Kuiti.
For your sake, I hope you find it.