For every New Zealander, and the multitudes of world-wide fans of our beautiful, friendly and peaceful country, last Friday, 15th March 2019 will be one of those days that we never forget – with grief. A handful of evil people stole the innocence of a nation – but we won’t let them win.
Our Prime Minister expressed our universal sentiments when she replied to Donald Trump’s query as to what support the US could provide. ‘Sympathy and love for all Muslim communities’, was her response.
That sentiment is expanded even more in the words of Susie Laery, a cousin of mine. I asked permission to share her tribute from a couple of days ago.
Our greatest need – to be loved
[Guest post by Susie Laery]
As we find ourselves immersed in a deeply grieving nation it reminds me again of the importance of compassion and kindness to those with whom we share this world.
We are not born to hate, we are given life to seek harmony, connection and love. We are also born to seek value in our existence and the significance of finding this is more powerful than we appreciate.
It is our experiences through the people we meet, the experiences and behaviour of those we interact with that all shape us to become who we are.
As I have raised my children in different communities in the last few years [RP: around much of the United States for eight months in 2018], I have experienced more beauty and kindness in humanity than I believed existed.
The ability to find compassion for those who we find are different is something that we must all strive to do.
We acknowledge there is a thread of evil that slithers its way into this world and that resides silently amongst a minority. It often comes from a place of ignorance, a place of inherited fear of difference – and a place of nonacceptance for those that look, feel and think things differently. It also often comes from an nonacceptance of our own selves. Doing wrong unto others can be an act to increase one’s own self-value.
As we busily go about our days trying to earn money to accommodate our families, to climb the business ladder, to land that desired job or to pass that exam – do things with authentic compassion. Say thank you. Offer a compliment to someone for a job well done. Offer a smile to a stranger. It is the little things that can lift a spirit and help silence the negative thoughts that only too easily come visiting.
As you finish your day today and your reflection honestly gazes at you, do you see the embodiment of peace, love, kindness and compassion? Did you live today by showing others the respect that they deserve? Did you acknowledge the value of someone today? Did you appreciate and give thanks to someone in your life today and make their world feel like a better place?
It takes an inner strength to reach out and show compassion. If, for whatever reason, you can’t find this kindness, try searching again and cast away the dark shadows that cloud this innate embodiment of yourself. For a kernel of kindness resides in us all – we exist to love.
We are all born into this world with the desire to live, to love and to seek contentment and value. We also one day will all leave this world with the experiences of a shared life together. May we be humble, may we be grateful and may we be kind.
Kia kaha [stay strong]
Thank you, Susie, for such profound and heart-felt sentiments.
Guns are not the answer. Vengeance is not the answer. What can we do today to show love and acceptance to someone we’d not normally associate with? Perhaps a simple act of love might turn another troubled soul to the light.
With deep sadness,