There are not enough tears...
Well I'm not doing quite so well this week. There are not enough tears, to wipe the stain from my lovely country over the events of this past Friday. It is a week today since the most brutal hate crime that our country has ever seen and we still rock in the quake of it...
After an amazing day last Friday in the city, attending a Climate Strike with my teenage daughter, where optimism flowed and the message was positive and unifying. We arrived home from our big day out, to news of the Christchurch massacres. I have been heartbroken and outraged ever since. Taking my son to school on Monday, where we gathered flowers to be taken later to our local mosque, was a moment of heartbreaking beauty. Both our kids schools have responded to this event with such heart and positivity. I feel still so shocked that this happened on our shores. Despite my belief that New Zealand embraced the cultural diversity of our peoples, that we are a tolerant nation that practices inclusion and celebrates our cultural diversity. Apparently, this is not so everywhere and there is still work to be done, breaking down barriers and sharing messages of unity and brotherhood. I stand very firmly in the camp of inclusion. We are one, they are us. This has been a slogan shared freely since the event. A call to stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters and support them through this awful time. There has been such an outpouring of love, a sharing of wealth, time and resources, to build our brothers and sisters back up again. But we cannot bring their loved ones back. A stain that remains.
Where does this hate come from? Children are not born with hate in their hearts, it is learnt, either through imitation or neglect. Why are we so afraid of that which is different? Why do we fear things we don't know or understand. Yet this past week, has not seen retaliation, hate speech and blame, it has seen a coming together of a nation to support 'their own'. The terrorists attacked our Muslim brothers and sisters. Their faith does not make them any less 'us'. They chose to make New Zealand their home, and for the majority of us, we welcome them with open arms, for all the cultural diversity and richness they bring to our country. Don't hate what you do not know. For at the end of the day, we are all flesh and blood and go back far enough, we were all immigrants once. Here in New Zealand, we have a huge cross section of cultures, certainly in our big cities. My children go to school with New Zealanders whose parents came from Korea, China, Japan, India, Fiji, Samoa, Niue, Bangladesh, Argentina, Persia, Africa, England and America to name but a few. They bring with them the stories and customs of those lands, but they are 'New Zealanders'. They are 'us'. We are 'one'.
I wanted to create something to mark this day and to borrow the words of Marvin Gaye, remind us, that "Only LOVE can conquer hate". I wanted to create something to remind my family, that we choose love. I made a simple framed design using Crissy Armstrong's beautiful Angel, which I think was so perfect for what I was trying to convey. I've used a beautiful digital paper from Whimsy Stamps designer Denise Lynn and finished the piece with a digital sentiment from Meghan Mullens. But this isn't meant to be a sharing of my creative process, but a sharing of my heart. Wherever you are in this world, I hope you will practice kindness, tolerance and respect towards others whatever their culture or ethnicity. I try to teach my children, to approach the world with a heart full of love in the hopes that what we share has a ripple effect and is eventually reflected back to us. Sending you all love today, especially those who are nursing a broken heart for whatever reason, Wends xoxo
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