Hashtag: I’ll Ride With You

#i’llridewithyou is currently trending.

I had been planning to write a blogpost about my goals for the new year (which will still happen in due time) but felt the need to address the horrific siege that occurred in the heart of Martin Place, Sydney yesterday. Man Monis (gunman) (walked into a Lindt Chocolate Cafe around 9:40am (Local Time) and proceeded to hold 17 hostages up (some pinned against windows like human shields holding a black flag with white writing). The siege lasted into the night and by around 2:00am, it came to a violent end – confirming that 3 people had died, among them the hostage taker. Four had also been injured. We should personally thank all police officers who risked their lives during the almost 17 hour siege.

In a climate of uncertainty and fear, Australia has banded together to show support for the Muslim population. Young Sydney woman, Rachael Jacobs, inspired the campaign #illridewithyou hashtag after posting a moving Facebook status about her encounter with a Muslim woman earlier that day. The hashtag which had been tweeted/ posted on social media outlets (including Facebook and Instagram) 22,000 times by Monday evening sparked the compassion that Aussies take to show solidarity. We will not end up a divided community due to this.

This year has been full of shock and terror. From Malaysian airline flight MH370 which disappeared (and has still not been discovered) en-route from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia to Beijing, China. To scheduled international passenger flight Malaysian airline MH17 which crashed in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on 17 July en-route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumper, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board (27 Australians sadly killed). To the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa and terrorist group ISIS.

During these times, under the influence of fear fed to us through various news groups do Australians need to band together to be stronger than ever. We never fail to prove our mate-ship and compassion for others and that is what makes us unique from all the rest. We will not choose to live our lives in fear, yet we will live it with love, hope and faith. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. 

This is proof that love conquers all. Wherever you find yourself today, stand united and love each other.

I pray for endless peace to the families who have been affected by these horrible events this year.

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