As a Doukhobor, I grew up believing in universal brotherhood/sisterhood. No longer young (except in spirit), I feel that universality even more keenly today! What happened in New Zealand with the Muslim massacre punctuated that principle. Without universality, we perish, with it, we have a fighting chance.
My daughter attended university on a Rotarian international scholarship in the very Christchurch that has dominated the news. My wife Delva, then later I, walked the very streets with our daughter that surrounded the carnage. At that time, it appeared to live up to its name, “Garden City” – a city of beauty, of hope, of tolerance. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has elevated that description despite the vileness of an assassin.
It’s an amazing thing, universality. It triggers emotions that bind us, cement us in common causes, elevate our expectations of each other and furnishes the belief that things will be better. As a Saskatchewan loyalist who has talked that walk on five continents of the word, I believe we have that instinct. Our grandfather used to say during the drought, “We put hope in the soil, not just seeds!”