Sometimes we can brush off the news, push our emotions aside to carry on with our lives. We can hide in the hard shell we project to the outside world to stop it hurting us. All the cliches like water off a ducks back can be rolled out to harden that facade we have. Some days it helps me get through the hours, rolling it back with a nonchalant shrug.
Yet there are times when I can’t escape the mind and an event hits me hard. The events in New Zealand in particular have hit me hard, right into the very core of my body and mind, as if shewed by a sword. The heartfelt reactions of the entire community in New Zealand hit me more than anything. It was all grief, everyone together against the atrocity committed right at the heart of their community. The way everyone described muslims, refugees and migrants as part of their community filled my heart with so much hope. In the words of their Prime Minister, ‘they are us’.
No words of exclusion, only inclusion. Hearing the traumatic eye witness accounts filled my eyes with tears. This had clearly struck hard at this country, the shock was vivid in their expressions, yet all they wanted to do was help those injured. There was no segregation, not thought that all white people were to blame. It was a community coming together in the face of a terrible crime.
So I let it through the hard shell, I let it through my soft tissue, feeling the pain. I needed to. In spite of it bringing me down. You see I needed that pain, I need to feel again. It cut through the drug laden fog of my brain making me experience the anguish that I try to hide, even to those close to me.
Yet out of the pain was the hope that this small country had it right. They didn’t become apologists for white supremacy but saw how it would divide them, I felt that too. It was a feeling of a society that would mend itself.
If ever I stop caring about a single death, then I know I’ll be dead. This planet has so much hope when we cut through all the hate.