Kiwi Virtues in a Time of Trouble

A few years ago when I was researching my WWII book Killing Rommel, I immersed myself in reading about a British commando unit called the Long Range Desert Group.

Have you heard of these guys?

Patrol vehicles of the Long Range Desert Group

They fought behind the lines against Rommel and the German Afrika Korps. Their vehicles were civilian Chevy “hundredweights,” i.e. ton-and-a-half pickups. Into these they packed fuel, water, weapons, navigation gear, and spare parts. Their theater of war was the North African desert. In patrols of six to eleven trucks they routinely ventured a thousand miles from the nearest aid to work “beat-ups” on Axis airfields and to provide reconnaissance, transport, and intelligence to Gen. Wavell and later Gen. Montgomery and the British Eighth Army.

Their numbers were never more than 350, most of whom were New Zealanders and all of whom were volunteers.

In one call for recruits, eight hundred applied. The LRDG took twelve.

What, you may be wondering, does this have to do with the corona virus and the panicky pandemic times we find ourselves in right now?

The link is the mindset that these Kiwis (and, later, Rhodesians and Brits and others) brought to one of the most emotionally and psychologically challenging assignments any soldier could face.

But here’s what was fascinating to me about the selection process for the Long Range Desert Group:

The commanders did not want supermen. They weren’t looking for elite athletes who could do five hundred pushups or fire-breathing warriors with chests plastered with decorations for valor.

The ideal volunteer to face the loneliness and isolation of the desert was a working man, preferably a husband and father. Most LRDG selectees were older by ten years than the average front-line soldier. Many were farmers and stockmen. No few owned spreads of 10,000 acres and more.

The LRDG wanted men who were happiest with their hands dirty. They sought volunteers who could fix tractors and farm equipment, who had cared for sick livestock and dealt with drought and famine and flood. They wanted men who could grade roads and dig themselves out of ditches and downpours. Patience was a virtue prized more highly than martial valor. The type of individual the LRDG sought was a fellow who could work in close quarters with others under conditions of extreme stress, who did not flee from adversity but rather sought it out and throve on it.

The commanders wanted men with a sense of humor. Good mates in a pinch, as they phrased it.

That’s what you and I need right now.

We need the Kiwi virtues.

Nothing fancy. Nothing heroic. Just do our part and be there for our mates in trouble.

[For a visual glimpse of the Long Range Desert Group, here’s a video I did a few years ago to promote Killing Rommel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHjxQmxZDuA]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DO THE WORK

Steve shows you the predictable Resistance points that every writer hits in a work-in-progress and then shows you how to deal with each one of these sticking points. This book shows you how to keep going with your work.

do the work book banner 1

THE AUTHENTIC SWING

A short book about the writing of a first novel: for Steve, The Legend of Bagger Vance. Having failed with three earlier attempts at novels, here's how Steve finally succeeded.

The-Authentic-Swing

NOBODY WANTS TO READ YOUR SH*T

Steve shares his "lessons learned" from the trenches of the five different writing careers—advertising, screenwriting, fiction, nonfiction, and self-help. This is tradecraft. An MFA in Writing in 197 pages.

noboybookcover

TURNING PRO

Amateurs have amateur habits. Pros have pro habits. When we turn pro, we give up the comfortable life but we find our power. Steve answers the question, "How do we overcome Resistance?"

Turning-Pro

A Man At Arms is
on sale now!

Don't miss out on exclusive bonuses available to early buyers!

58 Comments

  1. Mary Doyle on March 25, 2020 at 7:16 am

    Amen to that! Stay safe and healthy, everyone!

  2. Anna Deac on March 25, 2020 at 8:23 am

    My oh, my! It looks like it is here. The rise of the Enlightened Leaders. Simple Self Realized men and women, emerging from this very crisis. Cardboard leaders will all fall like domino. True values and deeper meanings will unfold rapidly.

  3. Yvonne on March 25, 2020 at 8:50 am

    Steven, this made me cry. To put it mildly, I really needed this, very much so. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Wishing good health for all.

  4. Bing on March 25, 2020 at 9:16 am

    KISS = keep it simple sweetheart
    Happiest when their hands were dirty and patience is what stood out for me.
    Thanks Steve

  5. Kim Finnegan on March 25, 2020 at 9:20 am

    Thank you Steve!

  6. Jake Allderdice on March 25, 2020 at 9:22 am

    Thank you for the inspiration.

  7. Renita on March 25, 2020 at 9:28 am

    I got a CNN update that drinking tea provides the resistance to the virus.

    • Jurgen Strack on March 25, 2020 at 11:12 am

      @ Renita
      “I’ll have what she’s having” 🙂

  8. Jurgen Strack on March 25, 2020 at 11:17 am

    Hi and thank you Steve.
    Yes, I have heard of these guys!
    Theirs was a proper Hero’s journey, theirs was.
    Love your video too.
    Stay safe everyone,
    Jurgen

  9. Rebecca Parsons on March 25, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    Oh! This is my family and my country – beautifully said.
    You made this Kiwi in Australia feel very loved this morning, thank you 🙂 xxx

  10. Ray on March 25, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    Kiwi here Steve, feeling a little over-awed by this praise!
    As it happens my father fought in Egypt in WWII, though not in the LRDG. There were a lot of those strong self-sufficient men in that generation, they needed those qualities to succeed in farming or any other outdoors endeavour back then when New Zealand had a largely rural-based economy and the country was still being “broken in”. They were useful qualities in a soldier as well.
    I read Killing Rommel and loved it. I wish Dad could have read it too, he certainly would have enjoyed it.

    Our current Prime Minister is doing a good job of leading the country through this pandemic when so many people are scared, she is the voice of calm and reason and appears to be making the right decisions. With so many unknowns in our current situation I think that people need to hear that calm voice.

    NZ has just gone into lock-down and all non-essential workers are expected to stay home and not go out except for food and absolute essentials. Overall people seem to be taking it well.

    I hope all of you and your families are well and feeling OK.

  11. Chap on March 25, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    “Just do our part and be there for our mates in trouble.”

    Right on.

  12. Mike Lerario on March 27, 2020 at 6:39 am

    Your description of how the men of the LRDG were selected and assessed holds true today in how Army special operators are selected–it’s more about intangible attributes and characteristics over physical skill (though the later is important, it’s not the most important thing). I recommend the same thing with my civilian clients, to identify the attributes they need in the people on their team, not just the skill they need.

    As always, your thoughts and the way you share them go above and beyond to highlight an idea or concept. Thanks for all you are doing to help those of us who aspire to be like you.

  13. Terry Weaver on March 27, 2020 at 7:34 am

    Steve, great stuff man. Thanks for keep people encouraged at times like this. Have you written about the Greek god Pan? I know you are somewhat of a Greek mythology guru. I did a little research and etymological study on Pandemic due to our current times. Check if out if you have a sec, I would love to read more of your thoughts about what is going on right now, here is the research and writing I did https://terryweaverbooks.com/pandemic/

  14. Joe Jansen on March 27, 2020 at 8:56 am

    Haven’t been able to get my comments to stick here, so let me try one more time. Gathering around the tube for “The Rat Patrol” was a weekly ritual as kids. Never thought its inspiration would come up as such a powerful teaching metaphor for resilience and bonding.

  15. little big snake on April 4, 2020 at 3:08 am

    Wow! through this post, you’ve opened many of my ideas, so I can learn more about many valuable things. https://littlebigsnake.online

  16. Aidan O'Malley on April 11, 2020 at 11:30 am

    Sir, thank you. As a kiwi I hope in some small way I measure up to ‘just do your part and be there for your mates’. Brilliant stuff.

  17. Gabriel Welch on April 12, 2020 at 11:29 pm

    At the point when you set up crusades for your site, you should decide applicable objectives. A few people tragically set up a battle dependent on cost and watchwords, not since quite a while ago followed catchphrases. You have to gather a great deal of information Best Content Writers about your intended interest group to set up the correct crusades to contact them. At the point when you utilize the catchphrase explore devices, center around the watchwords that are being utilized in the inquiry. These are the watchwords that you need to utilize when you create content.

  18. 8 pool ball on April 24, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    Your style of writing is so unique, I’ve never seen it in other posts so far. Not only that, but the information you share is useful, so it is great that you can share more of your posts when the opportunity arises. I always follow your site because there is so much information you share that is very good for me. Thank you very much.

  19. superioressays on April 30, 2020 at 5:34 am

    We can provide you with any academic writing service you need like research papers, essays, dissertations, thesis, etc. Cheap Essay Help Service UK.

  20. natalie on June 30, 2020 at 1:38 am

    “A splendid investigate the mind of battle. Where he once brought us into the Spartan line of fight at Thermopylae, Steven Press-field now brings us into the sands of the Sinai, the back streets of Old Jerusalem, and into the central cores of troopers winning a tremendously essay assignment help impossible triumph against overwhelming chances

  21. bestmentorsonline on July 8, 2020 at 8:48 am

    Can Someone Do My Class Online For Me? Can I Pay Someone To Take My Class For Me? Try Us! Best Mentors Online is the best Online Class Help Company for you!

  22. Raymond on August 1, 2020 at 12:30 am

    There are many stories about WWII and fortunately many books are available about the WWII. Like this post that make an advanced environment where the people could play these games.

  23. 1v1 lol on August 13, 2020 at 1:52 am

    A second without seeing each other like this life is so lonely The sky was cloudy, blue and blue when I smiled a little One day he knows all the reasons for the pleasures of life The day that predestined relationship brought us together. fireboy and watergirl

  24. Naveed Aziz on August 29, 2020 at 10:47 am

    These virtues are awesome

  25. chrisgail on September 28, 2020 at 11:31 pm

    This lesson is about a historical war which was fighting several years ago. History is my favourite subject and I will try to read your book completely.
    cheap dissertation writing service

  26. Personal Driver on October 12, 2020 at 4:34 am

    It is hard to trust on someone these days, but with our well-mannered specially hired drivers, you won’t feel a hint of awkwardness, you will feel how trustworthy they are in no time.

  27. carpentry services on November 17, 2020 at 4:00 am

    Wow…never heard about these before, very inspirational and we really do need these virtues.

  28. John on January 23, 2021 at 5:29 am

    If you are looking for a driver who can drive your car. but you are not able to find out how you can have the best driver providing service in UAE, So no need to be worried now, You are at the right place now. We take care all of your requirements. “WATSDRIVE” has very safe, sober and professional personal drivers. our first priority is to give full satisfaction to our valuable customers.

  29. Steve Martin on April 27, 2021 at 12:35 am

    Top Web Designers is one of the Web Design Company in USA that offers quality services with a huge client base, also a renowned website designing agency in the USA.

  30. nayakam on June 1, 2021 at 3:21 am

    AC plays an important role during sizzling weather, keep you and your family comfy indoors. But when the AC breakdowns, it becomes a frustrating problem which we all never desire.

    We all are conscious of the extremist summer weather in Pakistan. If it’s too hot outside, broken air conditioning becomes a minor concern, converting into serious pain in a matter of minutes. When your AC kicks in badly, time to call a reliable service provider for quick fixes.

    From AC repairs to services to maintenance, Nayakam provides every facility at a reasonable cost. With our timely response and professional assistance, get AC repairing services conveniently.

  31. nayakam on June 9, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    Nayakam is cognizant that electrical chores can easily compile on your to-do list, hence we bring back you the simplest electrician services within the city! From changing or installing a light-weight bulb, LED TV mounting, pump repairing to even cistern automatic switch installation, our Mahir’s can roll in the hay all. If you would like electrician services but desire checking out “electrician home services near me” a touch overkill, you’ll always believe our experts . we offer you with the simplest solution and a variety of electrical maintenance and repair solutions.

  32. Christopher Hardy on August 16, 2021 at 4:13 am

    Can someone take my online class? At best online class help you can pay someone to Do My Online Class for me. We got the finest online class takers for you.

  33. Christopher Hardy on September 20, 2021 at 8:09 am

    Need to take your class online? Take Your Class Online offers best online class help! Just say take my online class for me. We offer Do My Online Class help!

  34. Amelia Jones on September 20, 2021 at 9:12 am

    Ask Takeyouronlineclasses.com take my exam for me and never get disappointed. Our online exam takers will provide you with the best online exam help.

  35. Couponsva on September 22, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    This is Couponsva, a professional blogger I enjoy writing on multiple callings with a firm grip on specialty include digital marketing, affiliate marketing, entertainment, and e-commerce blogs.

  36. tyson dot on December 8, 2021 at 3:08 am

    Our online course experts will assist you topics in all areas like pay someone to take my online class for me etc.

  37. Thomas Murphy on January 5, 2022 at 10:41 am

    Proctored Exam Online boost grades and provides reliable online exam help for students looking up professionals to take my online exam for me or do my online exam.

  38. Taniya Khan on February 10, 2022 at 4:29 am

    I just read your post about kiwi virtues in a time of trouble. What a post. I really like it and must be shared with my friends. I wanna share my link Escort in Delhi just watch out.

  39. Food Geniez on February 14, 2022 at 3:41 am

    foodclub services. We are providing you best source of food. We are here to guide you to take order our rider will provide you fastest delivery according to your concerning.

  40. petterson76 on February 25, 2022 at 9:33 pm

    War is not the solution to any dispute, but you are writing all stories on war and fight .one thing is that most small students studying at the primary level are interested in seeing such players.
    https://www.globalnetbit.com/education/best-informative-writing-techniques-which-really-work/

  41. Emily Parker on March 21, 2022 at 4:36 am

    Binayah is a leading Real Estate Company in Dubai.
    Visit binayah.com! for Dubai property for sale |
    and Dubai property for rent. Contact +971555099157

  42. Akriti on April 8, 2022 at 9:16 am

    There are many different reasons to hire female escorts in Gurgaon . First of all, a good cab service will drive you safely to your destination. Another reason is to make sure that you are not alone. With the right driver, you can have peace of mind that your escort is with you every step of the way. Having a personal sex assistant is an excellent way to enjoy your time in the city.

  43. Ashok Stambh on April 23, 2022 at 5:54 am

    Nobody still knows what what angels really look like till now. Let’s explore the true nature of angels and what they look like. It’s important to know that angels do not exist in a physical form. They are spiritual beings, and their physical appearances are based on their roles.

  44. Cashslot 007 on April 23, 2022 at 9:50 pm

    Agnet judi slot memainkan peran penting dalam industri. Pekerjaan mereka berkisar pada komunikasi dan transaksi. Mereka bertanggung jawab atas berbagai macam tugas, mulai dari layanan pelanggan hingga riset pemasaran.

  45. Santa Color on April 29, 2022 at 6:33 am

    Natural food coloring refers to the extraction of pigments from natural sources. These natural sources predominantly include plants .

  46. Santa Herb on April 29, 2022 at 6:42 am

    Phytochemicals are Non Nutritional Chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties,they can protect humans against diseases.

  47. Mark Adam on June 9, 2022 at 6:14 am

    Amazing you provide information.
    Top company required content writing company
    for increase quality in business.

  48. Wooten Huber on June 14, 2022 at 6:16 am

    This information is very well defined if you are looking for professional blog writing you can contact prime writing

  49. agentmponew on June 23, 2022 at 11:15 am

    Saya seorang Design Grafis di daerah jakarta timur mpo0404

  50. radia on June 23, 2022 at 11:04 pm

    Klik Tautan Berikut Untuk Mendapakan Bonus Member Baru.. mpo0404

  51. Abhuti Agarwal on July 2, 2022 at 2:25 am

    When it comes to the Ahmedabad Call Girl, you can find a variety of attractive women. From the gorgeous Ahmedabad Call Girl to the vivacious Russians, these girls have everything you’re looking for in a call girl. The best Ahmedabad Call Girls are not only educated and well-mannered, but they also have a great sense of humor and are in high demand. Learn more abut Ahmedabad escorts

  52. d2 on July 2, 2022 at 6:29 am

    daftar situs judi slot 7 situs alternatif 2022

  53. devina herlina on July 3, 2022 at 8:51 pm

    cashslot777 Adalah situs permainan slot game di indonesia. Pada waktu ini banyak sekali di minati oleh para pemain slot. itu karena permainan game yang kami sediakan situs dengan RTP teringgi

  54. radia on July 3, 2022 at 10:52 pm

    mpo0404 Adalah situs permainan slot game di indonesia. Pada waktu ini banyak sekali di minati oleh para pemain slot. itu karena permainan game yang kami sediakan situs dengan RTP teringgi

  55. Darmawosogo Darmawosogo on July 4, 2022 at 2:21 am

    mpo0404 link alternatif Selain permainan, situs online di Indonesia juga menyediakan fitur chat yang memungkinkan pemain saling berkomunikasi saat bermain. Fitur obrolan langsung sangat membantu jika ada masalah dengan situs web.

Leave a Comment