A letter from Malcolm

December 17, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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Federal member for Wentworth and Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull sends this message at the beginning of Chanukah and in the shadow of the Martin Place siege.

 

Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull

Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull

My heart is heavy as I begin writing this message. This week should have been one where our only concerns were rushing to finish the year’s work, last minute plans for family dinners and holidays not to speak of mounting excitement and anticipation from all of the children in our lives.

But the warm and peaceful calm of the week before Christmas was shattered by a hatred so cruel and so violent that it cost the lives of two beautiful young and courageous people – the cafe manager Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson, a brilliant barrister and mother of three young children.

Yesterday morning, only hours after the siege had ended, I was travelling on a train across the city. You could feel the numb shock in the carriage. It was as though each of us was drawn into our inner self as we tried to rationalise the horror that had invaded not just our city’s heart, but our own.

But in the midst of this deep sadness there was a determined love, a love too strong to be intimidated by hatred. And then through the day that followed in Martin Place, in St Mary’s Cathedral – all across our nation – we saw such strength from our community as we all  affirmed, in a hundred different ways, love’s triumph over hate.

This is a time of love. Whether we celebrate Christmas, or Chanukah or simply gather together for a thoroughly secular family dinner, this is a time to hold closer than ever not just to those you love, but love itself.

The cruelty and hatred in the world baffles us. Hard on the heels of the siege in Martin Place we learn that the Taliban have massacred over a hundred students in a school in Pakistan. And our thoughts go back to the shooting down of MH17 and the murder of its passengers and so many other acts of cruelty and hatred.

Sometimes it feels as though we are on a flimsy boat tossed about on a sea of hate.

Yes, there is plenty of hatred in this most imperfect world of ours, but our boat is not flimsy. Far from it. It is made of the strongest timber, it is made of deeply held democratic values founded in the love of and respect for humanity.

Please remember those who are less advantaged than ourselves. This is a time to show our love in practical ways. It may just be helping out our friends and family, but also think about those like the Wayside ChapelSt Vincent de Paul, the Salvation ArmyJewish Care and so many other wonderful volunteer organisations whose mission is a very practical love. They need and deserve our help.

From Lucy and me and our family to you and yours; we hope that you have a safe and restful holiday and that your 2015 is safe, peaceful and filled with love.

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