Let me ask you a question. How do you treat visitors to your home? Leave that sitting for a minute and I'll relate to you a story.
I was born in Western Australia and raised in Aotearoa New Zealand. I have two passports and dual citizenship. The Australian government insisted I travel on an Australian passport. The New Zealand government granted me New Zealand citizenship. Puts me in a somewhat unique and privileged position I think, to observe both sides of a somewhat topical subject, to stand with a foot in both camps, or play the disinterested participant with a desire to claim my own patch of territory. From Princess Diana's death, to the collapse of quakeshot Christchurch and its ensuing fiscal and emotional stress, to the most recent Christchurch Mosque massacres, I have seen a question, an observation reinforced that I first noted seriously when I flew back to New Zealand from Australia several years ago. In those not so distant days one was greeted entering Australia with "Welcome to Australia. Where the bloody hell have you been? We've got the barbie going.". Returning to New Zealand the first poster to greet you as you exited the international arrival doors was, "Have you been immunised? See your doctor." You take my point I hope. It's a matter of attitude.
Frankly, I like Australia better than New Zealand. As a newcomer my experience of Christchurch, Wanganui, Dannevirke, has been a prevailing impression of insularity, a lack of polite interest, of being somehow ignored. Occasionally I am pleasantly surprised by someone taking a genuine interest in my life, actually asking me who I am, where I come from, what I think. Generally though, New Zealanders haven't seemed to care.
Citing Christian church circles, of which I have been part in past years, leaders and musicians have insisted that I sit in their buildings following their formats, as if I'm a machined cog. Seldom have they engaged with me at a personal genuine level. Following the May 15 shootings, Hilary Barry on 7 Sharp may well simperingly instruct us to "Show the Luv", or Jacinda Ardern PM claim that "We are One", as if there is some blanket behaviour we have to adopt. Those claims are simplistic. I say we are not One. The individual has identity. I prefer to be asked and tell you why, who, and where I am and if I ask of you the same questions then we can live and breathe and expand our understanding of why we have life. Otherwise we die by degrees and meaningfulness is lost.