It was undoubtedly heartbreaking, to hear the news about Sydney's siege at Martin Place unfold. Waking up to such news yesterday immedi...

It was undoubtedly heartbreaking, to hear the news about Sydney's siege at Martin Place unfold. Waking up to such news yesterday immediately sparked concern about friends and family back in Sydney, and more alarmingly, those that were held as hostages in the cafe where the siege was taking place. Its such a harrowing event, especially the unpredictability of it. It is chilling how customers entering the cafe had absolutely no idea that they were entering into a terrorist crime scene; how what seemed to be a routine coffee run turned out to be gruelling hours of suspenseful terror. This could've been anyone. No one deserved to go through this traumatising experience. No one deserved to have been placed in an environment of danger. Each hostage in that cafe was stripped of their innocence, and that in itself is copiously unjustified. 

Once again, waking up this morning and hearing the cold, hard facts of the deaths that had occurred, the heroes involved, the victims' faces paired with a name; reality sinks in. This was not a movie, not involving fictional characters or manmade sets and props. This involved real events, real stories, real terror, real lives. 

Putting religion aside, we are the same. We are all human. We should all strive to be humanists, "emphasising the agency and value of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence over established doctrine of faith." Why does religion tear us apart? Where is the respect that was once so innate? 

"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
"Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these."

Love. I don't believe that this trait is tarnished. Everyone has love instilled in them, whether it is for materialistic possessions, or a humanistic approach. Yes this world is far from perfect, and although Sydney's siege has rekindled humanity's imperfection, it has also sparked compassion, resilient prayers, and empathy towards victims, their family members, and also to minority groups. 

The "I'll ride with you" campaign was initiated by an Australian lady who had an encounter with a Muslim on the train yesterday. With chaos and fear-stricken Australians covering the headlines of world news, the Muslim lady conservatively took off her hijab due to fear of being backlashed by the community during this period of Islamic terrorist attack. The Australian lady ran after her and immediately told her to put her headwear back on, and offered to walk with her if she feared the abuse of preconceptions towards Muslims in which the Sydney siege was producing. 

At warp speed, #illridewithyou became a huge trend on social media, where people offered to accompany anyone who did not want to travel alone during this period of time where the impact of the siege is still raw in everyone's hearts. Being a Muslim during the event of a terrorist attack can be petrifying; however, no one should feel vulnerable whilst roaming the streets of Sydney, or feel the need to compromise their religion just so they can get from one place to another. Pointing your finger to a whole community for the actions of one extremist counteracts the notion of benevolence and understanding.

We should all be humanitarians; put religion aside and work towards building a compassionate community. These acts of compassion will continue to be the light amidst this dark tragedy. The #illridewithyou campaign is not simply a social media exclamation, it is an act of empathy, a strategy for counterterrorism; "inclusiveness is our best defence". 

Heroic acts from hostages along with a community painted with love and support shows that no weapon or misguided violence could demolish the unity Australians possess. 

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
- Marin Luther King, Jr

Hey 2015, hope is around the corner.

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  1. Debbehhh, I'm honestly surprised that your blog isn't topping the charts. You are an amazing writer and are pouring both your heart and soul into this and it should definitely be recognized. I hope you continue writing more, and always keep life beautiful =]

    1. Hello anonymous! Your comment is so sweet, makes me all fuzzy inside haha! But thank youuu so much for your kind words :) it really means a lot! I hope you have a blessed 2015 x