New Zealand's Story

Darkness has a way of making the light even brighter so that it begins to blot out the dark.

I hope that doesn’t just come across as a platitude or some first draft of a shitty motivational poster.

I now live in New Zealand. I moved here with Tiffany, my wife, because I have family in this country. Because I have heritage. But also because the country is “paradise”.

The massacre in Christchurch has shaken that.

New Zealand doesn’t yet know how to process that, much like the US, Britain, Germany, France, India and so many other before their attacks.

How we differ though is that we weren’t just flying under the radar; we were off of it. We aren’t some imperialist boogeyman, we don’t have gleaming towers of cash spiking our biggest cities, and we don’t really have any overseas military presence.

But that’s the irony. We were targeted because we weren’t a target.

From a storyteller’s perspective, it ain’t about the tragedy; it’s always about what happens after that. What’s your response to your “darkest day”?

THAT is the story. That defines character. That is what lives on.

And this has been the sort of response I’ve seen. As a permanent outsider, it makes my heart feel good.

This isn’t a perfect country.

We’ve got crippling poverty, a shocking domestic violence record and a raft of mental health issues. Those troubles are deeply rooted and need to be faced.

But, this past week, New Zealand has shown it can respond to darkness with light. And with kindness, grace and love.

Let’s all keep that going.