Dressed in a black headscarf, trimmed with gold, Jacinda Ardern held members of her country's Muslim community firmly in her arms as their tears fell.
It was Saturday. The previous day, last Friday, New Zealand had been rocked by the worst terror attack in its modern history, when a gunman killed 50 people at two mosques in central Christchurch.
Ardern, the 38-year-old Prime Minister, has rightly won plaudits for her response: infused with emotional intelligence and warmth, she has thrown her arms around a grieving nation and is visibly striving, with every fibre of her being, to heal its still open wounds.
This is what leadership looks like. Sometimes you have to see it up close to understand what it is you have been missing.
Ardern has walked hand-in-hand with those affected by the horror - literally, but also figuratively. She has pressed her face against theirs, presenting to the world the most powerful image of unity we could hope a politician might give.
If only she wasn't the exception.
It's impossible to watch Ardern's full-throated, empathetic reaction to tragedy without recalling its absence elsewhere. When Britain's Prime Minister, Theresa May, was confronted with a moment like this - the death of 72 people in the Grenfell Tower fire of June 2017 - her response was precisely the opposite: cold, stilted, detached. She projected none of Ardern's conviction.
She did not even meet with survivors the first time she visited the site. Here was a situation crying out for leadership, which our leader was ill-equipped to offer.
This isn't just about optics. When a country is hit by a moment of crisis, it is forced to take a look at itself. What kind of nation do we want to be; how do we want to be seen?
Ardern has asked herself those questions, and the answer she has given is strong: that New Zealand won't let itself be divided by the actions of one maniac, whose name she won't even deign to mention.
That the country stands together, not apart. That love can and must extend across communities, and those filled with hate won't disrupt it. She has pledged to announce gun law reforms within 10 days of the tragedy.
May would have done well to consider this when she first stepped into Number 10. In the UK, the most divisive issue of our time has been (and remains) Brexit, but she has done little to repair the rifts it has caused.
Her rigid, robotic way of operating hasn't allowed for such a thing. She has lacked both the emotional intelligence and the imagination to put a fractured, angry country back together.
The picture is similar across the Atlantic. US President Donald Trump may provoke an emotional reaction in his followers, but bridging divides ain't his bag.
Instead, he has actively sought to deepen them, by pitting different groups within his country against one another: the press versus the public; his base versus just about everyone else; immigrants versus those who are the distant descendants of immigrants themselves ...and so on.
Ardern's actions should not be remarkable - and yet in today's world they are.
She has simply done what any leader should. And yet all too often they don't.
In an age when emotion can frequently overrule rational thinking, it is deeply disappointing that, unlike Ardern, other leaders cannot find in their hearts a way to bring their people together.