March 20, 2019
Sometimes during these strange, sometimes bewildering times, I look for examples of leadership, courage,and conviction combined with compassion, vulnerability, wisdom and a spirit of inclusivity. Much to ask, of course, yet worth seeking.
In the aftermath of the terrible violence in New Zealand I find in their Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, a refreshing example of leadership demonstrating some of the above qualities and characteristics. Prior to this event I was not aware of her at all. Now, just to recall the image of her appearing with our Muslim brothers and sisters in the wake of such loss brings a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes. Seeing her dressed in traditional Muslim garb as she grieves is a symbolic gesture more powerful than a million words. And, yet her words are also powerful, directed toward victims, "They are New Zealand, they are us." May I add: they are humankind, they are us?
Thank you, Jacinda Ardern,at the young age of 38, for your example, much needed in our world today.