Jacinda Ardern, you rock my world. In the aftermath of the horrific Christchurch massacre, New Zealand has been led by you with dignity, compassion, resolve and immediate action. Mere thoughts and prayers simply do not cut it with you. I stand in awe of your leadership.
Deeming handshakes or the tossing of paper towels into a crowd as meaningless show, you instead donned a hajib, as a sign of respect for your Muslim community, and moved amongst families of the killed and wounded offering heartfelt condolences, emotional hugs, an empathetic ear to grief, and promises of resources and action.....promises which you immediately kept.
Your promise of the commitment of resources was instantly followed by the covering of all funeral costs plus financial assistance for families who lost their breadwinner. You stated that you were with the victims. No hollow political words for you, your actions proved it.
We in New Zealand will give him nothing. Not even his name. Your impassioned parliamentary speech made my heart soar as you taught the free world how terrorists should be treated. For such anarchists, their message is as important as their actions. Just note this terrorist's lengthy manifesto released minutes before the slaughter began. Make the message and the terrorist irrelevant, you told us. Speak the names of the lives who were lost rather than the name of the man who took them. Main stream media, please take note!
And taking advantage of a groundswell of support, you have announced an overhaul of New Zealand gun legislation, banning all military semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high capacity magazines. Meanwhile in North America, Canada still wrestles with this controversial issue while the U.S. dillusionally pretends that there is no issue.
Brian Mulroney recently worried, Where have all the leaders gone? Well, Mr. M., we found one. For me, true leadership has always been having the courage to do the right thing. Churchill, despite his massive failings, was a leader for his times. You, Jacinda Ardern, despite whatever frailties plague you, have proven at this time, in this moment, to be a true leader.
What our insane world desperately needs is more leaders of your calibre......leaders exhibiting compassion, strength, resolve and integrity.