We’ve all been moved and horrified by the images of recent events in New Zealand, Nevertheless, what has become an everlasting legacy from that day in Christchurch is not the imagery and terror that was inflicted with the sole purpose to divide and spark outrage.
But the swift and commendable sense of unity and outpouring of support, love and leadership that New Zealand has showcased to the world, the people of NZ no matter the creed or religion stood arm in arm to support and uplift those in their time of need restoring the faith and humanity that was briefly diminished on that Friday Afternoon.
The focus changed from those who set to harm to those who set to protect, the tales of heroism the offers of support and unity from all corners of the nation.
This indeed is a lesson for the world, a roadmap if you will, to deal with these types of events and levels of extremism.
Jacinda Ardern has become a beacon of political hope to the world showcasing an unbridled sense of leadership, compassion and swift and lasting action that the rest of the world can only dream of receiving from their elected officials.
She spent time with the people of Christchurch and took time to be part of these events while showcasing sensitivity to the needs and traditions of the Muslim faith, not for political gain but humanity.
She spoke to the thousands of New Zealanders gathered to pay their respects, quoting the Prophet Muhammad.
” The believers in mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When any part of the body suffers, the whole body feels pain. “
Adding “New Zealand mourns with you. We are one.”
New Zealand has changed forever but not in the way that was intended by a deranged individual, but in the sense of community and national pride that is now evident to the world and that showcase of humanity we’ve all been searching for.
The lesson we need to take away in this time is to find what unites us, whether that be our country, our children, or our love for certain things and celebrate our common appreciations.
Instead of allowing something to divide us or fake stories to guide us, it’s time to celebrate those things that unite us.
When the next act of terror takes place, we should not look solely for revenge or blame, and let hatred be what we broadcast, simply giving in to the terror and propaganda of madmen.
We should hold each other tight and stand together as a society of proud people that are united against hatred, and bound by a sense of purpose and common decency.
Photography: Feature Image Jacinda Ardern visiting members of the community at the Phillipstown Community Centre, Credit: Christchurch City Council / Kirk Hargreaves
Inset Image: Governor-General of New Zealand, Dame Patsy Reddy, lays flowers for the victims of the Christchurch mosque shootings at Hagley Park. Credit: Government House, New Zealand