Real Life

I know this blog is about SL and I generally blog about fashion and home&garden items and I keep it light with a splash of humour.  However, behind the blog is me.  I am a human being consisting of more than just pixels, and inside my flesh and bone body is a heart.  For the last couple of days that heart has felt so much sorrow and I have cried more than I have in a long time.

You may be wondering why I have just carried on as normal on this blog over the past couple of days when you know I am from New Zealand and you know what happened here on Friday.  The reason for my silence is that I honestly had no words.  I am still in shock and can't believe that something this heinous and evil has taken place in my beautiful, friendly, caring country.

But today I wanted to acknowledge the horror and also to tell you about the response of my fellow kiwis that makes me proud of where I am from.  My heart is hollow today.  My peaceful place is no longer and too many amazing New Zealanders lost their lives at the hands of one man who I refuse to name or give a place to in my thoughts.  My mind is on those who died and on their families who have been left behind.

I also want to tell you that we are not a perfect country.  We too have racism in all its vile forms and for too long it has been allowed to continue in conversations, in our media and social media, in our political sphere and in our minds.  But on Friday racist hatred stood up and took its vile agenda out on a group of peaceful people meeting to pray.  A cowardly act. A terrorist.

I am in awe of the response of NZers to this atrocious act.  I am proud of the way kiwis have wrapped their arms around our Muslim community and are continuing to show them that this is not the way we are.  I am proud of our emergency services team: from the NZ Police to St John's Ambulance to our amazing nurses and hospital staff.  Each one of these people have acted with compassion, love and selflessness while also dealing with their own grief and disbelief.

I am also proud of the acts of compassion and decency from people from all religions, all communities, all ethnicities and all walks of life.  They have provided food, gone to mosques around NZ to show support and give hugs.  They have donated money, donated blood and donated time.

I am proud of our Prime Minister who has shown solidarity, sympathy, and genuine love to all affected while trying to keep us together as a nation and lead us through this horrific event.  In a speech to our nation she said,

"For those of you who are watching at home tonight, and questioning how this could have happened here, we -- New Zealand -- we were not a target because we are a safe harbor for those who hate. We were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone racism, because we are an enclave for extremism. We were chosen for the very fact that we are none of these things. Because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion, a home for those who share our values, refuge for those who need it. And those values, I can assure you, will not, and cannot, be shaken by this attack.
We are a proud nation of more than 200 ethnicities, 160 languages. And amongst that diversity we share common values. And the one that we place the currency on right now -- and tonight -- is our compassion and support for the community of those directly affected by this tragedy.
And secondly, the strongest possible condemnation of the ideology of the people who did this.
You may have chosen us -- but we utterly reject and condemn you."

As someone who is white, a Christian and a New Zealander I have to use this time to look at myself and question what part I have to play in all of this. Do I stay quiet when people tell racist jokes? Do I stand aside and do nothing when others are belittled for their race or beliefs? It is easy to point the finger at others, but it is also important to reflect on your own words, actions and thoughts, or lack of.

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) Physicist & Nobel Laureate

Lastly, I want to leave you with the lyrics of the New Zealand National Anthem.
"Men of every creed and race,
Gather here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this place,
God defend our free land.
From dissension, envy, hate,
And corruption guard our state,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand."


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