This post is part of Lexa Cain's bloghop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up!
What am I celebrating this week?
To be honest, I'm celebrating being alive and being safe.
Yesterday something happened in my country I never expected to happen, and I think the whole nation is reeling from it.
If you live in America or other countries, gun violence is something so common and everyday, hearing about another mass shooting probably doesn't evoke much of a response anymore. I live in a country where even the police don't regularly carry guns. The last major event of this type happened in 1990.
So it was a huge shock when the news started trickling in about a mass shooting in a mosque in Christchurch. Two mosques, it turns out, indicating this wasn't one crazy person on his own, but a targeted attack. The last I heard, 49 people were dead as a result, hundreds more injured. And the shooter filmed himself doing it, streaming the video live to Facebook.
I don't even know where to begin thinking about an act so heinous. New Zealand is a safe place. The people praying in those mosques would have been largely immigrants and refugees, people who chose to come here because it is a safe place. A tolerant place. A place that allows them the freedom to practice and express their religious without persecution.
Yet apparently, New Zealand isn't that place after all. One or two or four people changed that when they made the decision to arm themselves and bust into mosques, spraying bullets and hate at people in prayer. And I don't believe the country will ever be the same again.
So today I am mourning. I'm not from Christchurch, and I didn't personally know anyone in either of the mosques, yet my heart is still heavy. Yesterday my country lost its innocence and was brutally dragged into the same evil that seems to have permeated the rest of the world.
I believe we will bounce back. We will rally and fight to prove that the acts of a few sick individuals can't alter the inherent goodness of the people who live here. But it has happened, and I doubt we will ever be exactly the same as we were before.