In its most simple definition, Aroha is the Māori word for “love” – and that it what we have witnessed here in New Zealand recently.
Like many other business owners in New Zealand, I struggled to post any content over the last week due to the impact that the horrendous event in Christchurch has had upon the nation as a whole. I think that whilst everyone continued to function at a perfunctory level, we’ve been all actually been operating on autopilot as our very psyche has been rocked.
This event has been gut wrenching to say the least. In such a small nation as New Zealand, the ripples reach everyone and whilst no pain can even remotely compare to that of the families directly involved – there has been a definite somber atmosphere felt across the country.
Through it all though, there is one word that has only strengthened in the face of this horror: Aroha
The Aroha the nation has poured out to the Muslim community so hurt by this attack. The very first footage I saw of the event on TV was of a local Christchurch Anglican Minister heading straight to the Mosque to embrace the Iman – and that was just the beginning of a groundswell.
I think virtually the entire nation has financially donated and there are numerous volunteer groups on the ground distributing physical items and providing support for families and first responders alike. Even the dōTERRA essential oils team that I am part of here in NZ have sent down supplies to support the emotional health of the people in crisis.
What’s more important though, is that conversations are being had. The issue of racism is being discussed openly and we are all having to self-examine our own deep seated feelings and fears. It’s so easy to appear “inclusive” on the outside while still harbouring darkness on the inside.
Love is a verb. A “doing” word and when the flowers wilt and the emotions have passed for everyone other than the families who will every day have to live with their loss – will we still continue to walk and act in love? Or will we slip back into old habits. Of old “them and us” thinking and language?
I pray that this is not the case, and that every day we CHOOSE to think and act out of love.
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