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Unreported acts of kindness from New Zealand

December 30, 2011 at 5:24 pm by MrCere  - 

Sunset near Twizel, New Zealand on the day of our story.

TWIZEL, NEW ZEALAND — Not every conversation I had in New Zealand is fair game for publication at If they all were, people would have spoken with me a lot less and a lot less openly or maybe just have not spoken with me at all.

During one such private meeting, a shared photo led to a side conversation that led to a revelation about an act of kindness that hit me, and still hits me, in my core. Somebody I knew, not in New Zealand, had heroically withstood some of life’s trials and others, in New Zealand, had selflessly performed a service for them. I can’t relate the story here because it was unmistakably not an interview situation and even the people on the receiving end of the generosity have kept it to themselves.

I was amazed by the revelation at the time and I was on the road much of the next 24 hours, meaning I was alone with my thoughts; Despite having a lot to ponder, this bit of unselfishness stayed with me for the entire drive when I wasn’t distracted by things like getting lost or finding a place to stay.

Before the rest of the story, a warning: Beware of becoming famous. Because when you do, everybody wants something and thinks the famous or rich can deliver it. Bill Gates, Oprah and actors and song divas are often seen as personal heroes and potential wish-granting demi-gods.

For example, Peter Jackson is so famous around the world these days that his very name is worth a lot of money to a film’s bottom line and there are many people, organizations and companies that want something from him. Most of those wants are not sinister while others do seek to exploit. But because there are many thousands of them, it becomes impossible for anybody to accommodate even a small percentage of the many who would look to Jackson for something.

A group from my own state of Utah has been publicly lobbying for a chance to be in Jackson’s films but their wish isn’t unique and their approach isn’t going to work.

Even my byline here at leads people to believe that I can somehow help them contact Jackson or Hobbit actors so they can make a plea and have a wish granted. The first problem is, I don’t have direct contact with Peter Jackson but if I did, and I forwarded his email or phone number as often requested, I definitely would no longer have direct contact with him. And yes, I know its that person’s life-long wish to be in a Middle-earth film, even as an extra, but it happens to be the same wish that thousands and thousands of other people (at least) have so, you know, get in line.

Anyway, back to our story: I learned of this lovely thing that happened, facilitated by some of Jackson’s team, and I just never have gotten over it. I contacted the far-away friends that were involved to let them know I knew, and it was a joyous email exchange for me to be able to share with them. I was touched in the deepest way and heartened and inspired by a single unpublicized, unreported act of kindness. It meant a lot to me to know that wonderful things can and do happen to deserving people.

Out of this same personal conversation grew my visit to Hobbiton Movie Set and the opportunity for to publish pictures of what only weeks before had been in front of the camera during filming for The Hobbit. And while I greatly appreciated that visit, it couldn’t compare with the quiet, peaceful knowledge that something amazing had happened for a friend I love and admire.

In an ironic twist, the end of my personal New Zealand journey was made much, much easier because of a personal kindness from the same camp. A giant weight was lifted off my shoulders because somebody stepped in to help in a moment of need. I am humbled and sincerely appreciative but even as invaluable as that was on a very personal level, it can’t touch the depths of my feelings like the other thing I am writing about with such a lack of detail.

Someday, when it is appropriate and with the permission of all parties involved, I would love the chance to tell the story of what I am alluding to. It isn’t my story to tell though and I wouldn’t dream of jumping unwanted into something that has nothing to do with me. However, readers and fans should know that often quietly, sometimes invisibly, personal miracles do happen. People with the ability to make a difference do profoundly impact others’ lives.

The thought enriched my own holiday season and before we collectively move into the New Year, I thought it was important to give public praise for private works and let readers know there are some good people behind the scenes working wonders.

So, sincerely, my heartfelt thanks.

Posted in Hobbit Movie, MrCere in New Zealand, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, Community on December 30, 2011 by
The Floor Plan from WETA Workshop

20 responses to “Unreported acts of kindness from New Zealand”

  1. Madeye Gamgee says:

    Thanks for sharing this, with both depth and dexterity given the confidential nature of the story.  Glad to hear that the project, and team, are “good” on multiple levels.

  2. Liamrice1 says:


  3. Hermoor says:

    I got a religious and almost narcissistic feeling reading this, at the end of the day you are just an ape mate. A simple ape, go eat a banana.

  4. Engelbert says:

    Love this article. Even completely happy to let the mystery be.

  5. Jtsis2 says:

    Sounds like something really lovely happened.  Hope to hear the rest of it one day.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What the hell, so you are going to tell us a story about a story you are not going to tell. That’s a tease! Just tell the damn story already! 

  7. kksnowmom says:

    Quiet acts of kindness are indeed miraclous and wonderous to behold. Glad you could share in the light of such an event.

  8. The intimacy of a kindness is often the most dear part of it, and no need for public consumption to increase its significance. Thank you for sharing how this affected you. That’s certainly enough to edify me.   

  9. Marigold says:

    Share the joy!  Even though you could not tell us WHO, you could tell us WHAT.

  10. Justanothersheep says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this. It encourages me and hopefully others to take opportunities to help other people or even….to seek those opportunities.

  11. Orig58 says:

    I wanna know, heartwarming stories are few and far between, more are needed 😉

  12. Maj_10000 says:

    What is the point of this strory if we have no clue has to what happenned?  It’s like, hey everyone,  something great happening to me, but I can’t telll you what is was, and also, BTW, don’t even think about ever asking me to contact anyone in Peter Jackson’s camp as well.  Sheesh, must be a slow news day at I guess?

  13. Bradley1202 says:

    A bit disapointed.Reading the story i think to my self, stop changing the subject and tell us what happened,and then get to the end and he says ill keep it to myself for offering a dog a bone and then saying you can have it tommorow 🙁

  14. Michelf says:

    MrCere, don’t let the ungracious & cynical comments of a few discourage you about what you shared. This media-saturated world is almost pathological in its need to expose every last drop of personal drama. How you must have struggled, wanting so badly to share something that affected you so profoundly, yet respecting the right to privacy of those involved. You balanced it beautifully; though naturally, we all hope some day to hear the whole tale! Kudos to your “old-fashioned” values.
    To the snarky posters who totally missed the point of the story: True hearers of Tolkien’s voice understand that it is enough to know that kindnesses are done, among both the exalted and the humble, and to let that knowledge move you forward to your own acts, ungrasping for reward.

  15. Jmalm43 says:

    Huh? Get to the point….What happened so all can know….We like a good deed to hear now and then.

  16. Guest says:

    I’m a little puzzled as to why you’d bother putting this up on the front page.  It’s like you’re saying, “Oh, something cool and moving happened, but I can’t tell you what.”  Why bother? 

  17. Rochendil says:


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