COMMENT:

It has taken me a little bit of time to process and reflect on the events that shook our country on Friday.

As someone in a position of leadership within our community and the wife of an immigrant raising two sons of mixed race, I have a message and a request that I need to share:

Please Do More.

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While I was shocked and heartbroken at the horror of the actions from one human being to the innocent lives of others, I was also not surprised, which is possibly just as heartbreaking.

My husband and I will be married eight years this year and we have been together for 10 years. His best friend, who was his best man at our wedding, is Muslim.

For the entire decade I have been side-by-side with him I have witnessed first-hand the hatred and racism directed right to his face – including this morning.

Julie's sons, Sahan and Arjun. Photo / Supplied
Julie's sons, Sahan and Arjun. Photo / Supplied

No child is born hating another child.

They have no idea about "race" and "skin colour".

Hatred does not just happen.

It grows.

It grows from the seeds of language imprinted into the minds of young children from adults, even before they have the ability to speak.

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It grows from the actions of human beings to each other, slowly, but with the damning impact an iceberg can have on a seemingly stable boat.

There is so much under the water you cannot see.

I have seen more of that iceberg than most, but I am under no illusion that a lot more grows deeper and continues to fester.

Please Do More.

I have watched over the last few days and seen candles and images posted to social media. I have seen Facebook profiles changed. I have seen people attend vigils and also post this.

With a lot of love and respect, I beg you…

Please Do More.

Please do more to stop the hatred and racism from spreading.

Please do more to treat others with empathy and love.

Let me tell you of a couple of incidents that happened to my husband recently.

Last year my husband did some food deliveries for a fellow business we were building a partnership with for our food kitchen venture. This was a good way for us to support them and see the back end of the delivery business.

We saw the back end all right.

We saw how privileged, generally white people treated my husband as an "Indian delivery boy".

Yes, he was called a "delivery boy".

A man who served our country in the New Zealand Police and Army, father of two sons and owner of two businesses was called a "delivery boy" simply because of the colour of his skin and his job.

One remarkable day he was doing a drop off to an upmarket Auckland grocer. Once he'd dropped off the deliveries, he went inside to buy a coffee.

A lady in her 50s asked the barista: "Are they even allowed to buy coffee in here?"

"They."

My husband was at the home show last weekend and when asking people if they had double glazing, had some literally shove their hand out to him. They could have just said: "Yes, we do. Thanks," or "No we do not but thank you for asking," and moved on.

Our two sons were there and saw this. We had to explain to them why people can act this way because, of course, in their world it feels very wrong to treat someone like that.

Just this morning my husband went into our courier company for a meeting (about postage for our business). He went up to the receptionist and gave the name of who he was there to see. The receptionist very rudely asked him if he had filled out his job application and brought his paper work as "it should be fairly obvious at this stage" (that you need to do this).

She assumed again because he is Indian and coming into a courier company that was what he was there for. Just assumed. Just spoke down to him because that is how "they" should be spoken to.

This was three days after the worst act of racism our country has witnessed in some time.

Please Do More.

I have previously written about the disgusting behaviour of others in an attempt to destroy my business, which, let's just get real here, is trying to help children and families lead healthy lives and have the best start to life.

Two weeks ago I was told by another "lovely" person of society (male by the way) that they would do whatever it took to "break me".

Please Do More.

I challenge you to think about how you treat those around you. Especially those that are of a different race or religion.

I challenge you to think about how you treat those who are less fortunate than you or you believe are less fortunate than you.

I challenge you to think about how you treat people when they have made a mistake.

We are all human beings and we all make mistakes.

Do you check in with what is going on in their world first, before you send a harsh email?

Do you consider that maybe they have their own icebergs going on underneath that you cannot see?

Do you let their mistakes go or kindly offer to work out a solution or do you try to break them?

Please Do More.

What our country experienced will not stop until each and every single one of us does more.

I believe my 6-year-old son summed this up the best.

Artwork by Bhosale's son, Arjun, 6. Photo / Supplied
Artwork by Bhosale's son, Arjun, 6. Photo / Supplied

He made this picture last year and I have it right in the centre of our little container office.

It is the first thing I see before starting work each day.

Imagine if we could all treat others the way our beautiful children do.

This is the way that true love will shine through the darkness.

Please Do More.

Julie with her husband, Vijay. Photo / Supplied
Julie with her husband, Vijay. Photo / Supplied

Dr Julie Bhosale is an internationally-renowned family wellbeing and nutrition expert, four times published author and speaker