Another pre-schooler’s mum has been a standout over this period: Jacinda Ardern. What wisdom and grace this younger woman has shown leading New Zealand’s response to the massacre. What has made her so outstanding? I saw a huge amount of empathy, as Ardern hugged a grieving Muslim lady. She wore black and a loose head scarf – a sign of identification with Muslim people – whilst maintaining her own identity. She showed courage, no doubt aware that many may not appreciate this solidarity. Decisiveness and wisdom were present in large measure – refusing to name the perpetrator to discourage copycat behaviour, sending off an envoy to Turkey to quickly end a diplomatic crisis, changing gun laws in a week! She named her country’s positive values for all to hear. To name a few.
In the midst of hate, the light of love appeared and spread. Other faiths and peoples embraced Muslims in a public show of support.
A younger generation is dispensing with outdated hostilities and fears regarding race and religion. By discussing what we have in common – rather than our differences – the light of truth reveals misplaced fears. Be a leader and a peace maker by choosing to identify our common humanity amidst difference.