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  • Jessica Stong

Peace Be Upon You

Do you ever stop and sit in complete awe of the courage of some individuals? 

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern displayed such courageous leadership and modeled resiliency for the world community. At a National Memorial Service for the March 15th terrorist attacks, a time of intense pain and heart-ache for her country, Ardern said, 

“We cannot confront these issues alone, none of us can …The answer lies in our humanity. But for now we will remember the tears of our nation and the new resolve we have formed.”

Her words were a balm to the broken-hearts and collective anxiety. Her words brought so much hope to many, especially to my heart. With all of these recent tragedies, my thoughts have been of fear for my - and all - children growing up to see such aggression and anger in the world. Despite our attempts to block out the noise from the news, we can't ignore that shootings, suicides, corruption, etc. are ever-present pieces of our lives today.

How do we even make sense of this world-wide pain and violence?  How do we help our children understand that despite the hate and fear, we are here to shine love and light to this world? How do we bring change or even be the change we wish to see in the world?

As Ardern stated in her speech, we can all learn so much from the simple greeting she heard from the community, “peace be upon you.” Help us all to know and promote this deep peace that comes from acceptance and love. 

What does peace look like in our hearts? In our family lives? In our community? In our world?

What can you do today to foster peace?

We have to step into courage to face the fear and pain and choose more for ourselves, our families, and our world. But like Ms. Ardern's example, we are made for peace. So please, peace be upon you. Today and always.

If you’d like to read the transcript for the full speech, visit: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/29/jacinda-arderns-speech-at-christchurch-memorial-full-transcriptSide

Note: I also am in awe of Jacinda Ardern for her incredible commitment to doing good in this world, despite being “so young.” Her leadership and service to her community and our world at large is awe-inspiring. She was elected at 37 and recently had her daughter while in office. Now at the old age of 38, she’s a force. Just incredible!

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