‘Be vulnerable’: Man discovers powerful message inside box on Pāpāmoa hills

A Tauranga man made a powerful discovery while trekking up Pāpāmoa hills for some fresh air.

On March 17, Ethan Whale was walking through Pāpāmoa hills when he came across a box hidden behind a log.

On the lid were the words: “Be vulnerable. You won’t.”

Interested in what was inside, he opened it up for a closer look.

“When I found it I was intrigued since it’s not every day you find a box stashed behind a log. I really had no idea what to think of it but I sent a photo to my friends and asked if I should open it or leave it but they all said open it so I did,” he told the Herald.

Inside was a notebook and a pen with a message for those who found the box asking them to “be vulnerable” and write down how they feel.

The note reads: “To whom it may concern.

“I reckon so many people come here to clear their minds and just feel, the good, and the bad. No matter where it comes from.

“Anxiety, heartbreak, work, family, friends. Anything that makes yo feel f***ing or really f***ing good.

“People love to find a ‘spot’ where they just sit in whatever it is they’re feeling just for a minute or two.

“So sit in it. Then let it out. Whether you’re hurting, happy, mad, sad. Whatever it is you’re feeling right now.

“Get it out. One page. Back and front. Just write. Whatever is on your mind.

“Even if it’s what you’re making for dinner. No judgement. Just somewhere to let it out.”

Whale was blown away by the discovery.

At the time he opened the box he explained there were just a few stories in there, some of them lengthy.

“There were three stories in there at the time of me reading them. One was two pages long and the other two were about a half-page-long each.

“They were personal stories already written in the book so I decided not to photograph and share them.”

He says it has been a tough time for many around the country and anything to promote people talking or writing down how they feel is always positive.

“I think it was such an awesome idea. As I’ve told others it’s nice to be able to get away with just yourself writing out the good, the bad and the ugly without worrying about what others think, somewhere to get stuff off your chest.

“We need more of this in the world, especially at the moment.

“Pāpāmoa hills is a nice spot to think.

“I’m pretty stoked the rest of the community thought it was a good idea too!”

As for who was behind the “be vulnerable” journal idea, Whale doesn’t know, but believes it must have been a recent decision to place the box there.

His discovery has since gone viral, with many members of the community paying tribute to the person behind the idea.

“This is an awesome idea! It makes me want to walk up there to write in it,” one said.

Another wrote: “I walked up there last sunday for one of those reasons, wish I had seen that box! What an awesome idea.”

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