On The Sydney Siege:

A year has passed since tragedy struck Sydney; What have we learned?

Horrific events such as those which took place in Sydney a year ago, and those seen in Canadian parliament a few months before it, make it easy to lose (at least a little) faith in humanity.

 They make it is easy to generalize.

It becomes easy to blame and to point the finger.

It becomes easy to hate.

Yet as easy as it is to become less humane, it is not the reaction I witnessed in the aftermath of the Sydney siege.

I saw Australia come together as a people, no longer bound by any political, ethnic, or cultural differences.

I saw the brave men and women of Australian law enforcement sail into a storm of bullets attempting to save people they had never met.

I saw people of all religions rally around the hash tag #IllRideWithYou, supporting those beginning to feel ostracized by their faith – which extremists’ constant misrepresentation has sullied with a crimson stain – to continue to freely and without fear commit themselves to their God and their religious beliefs.

The warriors of love made their mark at Martin Place. [Source: http://www.photoforum.com.au ]

I saw candles lit for the safe keeping of those taken hostage, brothers and sisters we knew could be our own.

I saw a country – and a global community – in mourning for a son and daughter taken too soon. We willingly made their families’ pain our own.

I saw, if even for a moment, how beautiful humanity can be at its best.

For at least a day, I saw us no longer blinded by a veil of ignorance. We were – all around the world – simply human.

That universal empathy for the human struggle was alive in all of us. We had no idea of the races, religions, or cultural dispositions of those taken hostage. Yet we feared, hoped, and prayed for them in earnest and with a single voice.

Most importantly, that love exclusive to humans – the one which transcends space and time, life and death – beat louder than ever in how we responded. We were a singular beat in a united human heart.

It is always difficult to look past the hate, to see light in the darkness. Sydney was no different. Why is this so?

Because love isn’t as jarring as a black flag pinned against a shop window, held up by victims terrified for their lives. It isn’t as easy to sensationalize as a man driven by darkness, willing to cause pain and suffering to pursue his own deranged motives. It isn’t as loud as early morning gunshots shattering the innocence of a peaceful nation.

The jarring image that many of us remember. [Source: http://www.bbc.com ]

But isn’t that what makes love such a special thing? It isn’t easy to find. Its rarity is what makes love precious.

We see glimmers of it in the passing smiles of strangers and in the laughter of children before it drifts away on the changing winds of the seasons.

We too often let hatred and prejudice bury love next to our slowly eroding humanity. But we didn’t on that Monday a year ago.

Instead, we came together.

What happened in Sydney was not a demonstration of the deterioration of humanity through hatred and social division.

It depicted a single lost soul who had allowed himself to be corrupted by the evils of fanaticism.

My heart aches for all of those who are mourning the loss of those we lost on this day a year ago. Yet it hurts more to think that the memory of them will be tainted by associations with the evil which manifested itself in the form of a broken man.

Instead let us remember the lessons of love that came from their deaths.

Let us remember the brave men and women who risked their lives trying to save them.

The thousands upon thousands of complete strangers who turned an entire Sydney square into a garden of Eden by filling it with beautiful flowers, paying their respects to people they had never known.

Australia turned a site of horror into a garden of beauty and love. [Source: 702 ABC Sydney: John Donegan ]

The coming together of all races and religions in astounding candlelight vigils full of love and empathy.

The memory of those lost must be remembered for what that event showed us.

It demonstrated how truly powerful love can be when we fight all the prejudices suffocating it. That is how we can honour their memory. That is how we must make sense of such mindless and depraved acts of violence.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Junior, A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches.

We must remember the phoenix as it shines brightly in the night sky, not the pile of blackened ash from whence it came.

Love, like happiness, is not a singular end that can be obtained. It is constantly struggled for; it is a way of life.

Love is a beautiful war, and the Sydney siege showed that together we can win it.

Be good to each other,

– MG.

13 thoughts on “On The Sydney Siege:

  1. A thought provoking and beautifully written post. Indeed a lot of love and compassion came from that senseless loss of life. And it’s so important to focus on that.


  2. I also saw the media capitalise off the tragedy, it was nothing but a circus the whole day. I didn’t see, but I heard the complete coldness of police telling a hostage, that no the Prime Minister is a busy man. I heard that women get hung up on. I didn’t see the prime minister once giving any sign of care or empathy towards what was going on, he didn’t show his face or if he did he would just sit there and smirk.
    Because this siege was about our Prime Minister (who stopped being our pm as of 3 months ago), the gun man was one of the many that got so angered by Tony and his 1950s thinking, such as, appointing himself minister of women and saying we belong in the kitchen, claiming that our native people the Aborigines were not the first there (facepalm) oh and stopping the boats, that huge racist spiel. He stopped the boats alright, he made a huge one disappear then no one talked about it. His stance on faiths aside from Christian were shaky to say the least, aside from that he was just a straight out idiot, foot in mouth, whole onion eating Tony Abbott.
    That gun man just wanted to tell him that he hated him along with everyone else, but also at the same time make unrealistic demands which no one knows because as the hostage said, he just wanted to talk to the PM. But he knew he’d get the publicity and the media were very present. The same thing happened as what would of happened if they stormed in sooner, but instead they made it worse for the hostages by dragging it out because everyone lovesd the drama, the news rating that day spoke for themselves, every single one of our news stations were covering it.
    I did see the people come together, I saw the whole country stop, anywhere there was a TV people were glued to it.
    But the unfortunate thing though was the gatherings, that was just Sydney. The reason why people cared a bit more, our main TV stations building was basically across the road from it. I know who the truly evil people were in this situation, and it wasn’t the masked gun man.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry you feel that way. I refuse to lower my vibration by indulging in the exploitation of events by media, or by the puppets whatever party chooses to represent it.

      I looked beyond the mainstream and widespread panic, anger, and blame – because those are all vibrations of the lowest order.

      I did, and will continue to, look toward the positives. I will always find light in my darkness. Because it is a choice to do so; a choice between living in light and cowering in the dark.

      To be honest, it wouldn’t really matter to me if Tony Abbot was Adolf Hitler, taking your frustrations out on a cafe full of innocent people is never justifiable.

      The man was a sick coward, and if his aim was to show Tony Abbot that he hated him by killing other humans he was not only a sick coward, but also dangerously naive if he thought Tony might translate his actions into a message of hate toward himself.

      But no, you can have whatever opinions of the media that you want, I might share most of them.Media has become a instrument of tyrants.

      You can have whatever opinions of Tony Abbot that you want. I didn’t see him for long, but I didn’t find myself agreeing with his policies either.

      Neither of those things change the fact the gunman committed the most indecent act of evil that a human can do to another. Who exploited the situation or who “caused” the situation are both irrelevant, the man doesn’t get a free pass. Without the murdered, there is no news coverage.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really didn’t mean it like that… I was not trying to justify what he did, what happened to those people was horrible. But it was like a fucking TV show over here! I don’t know what people that weren’t in the country was seeing but all you could see when you turned on the TV was this, there was nothing else you could watch aside from the kids channels. They could’ve shot the guy straight up! They could’ve done something to give those people in there some hope but there was nothing! No one did anything for 24 hours! They had to sit there for that long with absolutely no hope that they were going to be saved. He was a twisted individual but the media just non stop filming it like a drama series was sickening. Then the fear they instilled into everyone after about terrorism at the same time the budget came out and was upsetting people. It was used and it was sick! That’s all I was saying, the #illridewithyou and everything was really awesome and the people lining the streets was beautiful but it doesn’t change the fact that none of that would’ve come about if it wasn’t sensationalised so much.


      2. You know what, I just wish you would delete my comments please. It’s not right what I’m doing I don’t want to keep being so obnoxious with these things. I’ve got to stop seeing the negative and I really gotta stop posting my bullshit on your Page. The Sydney seige is just something I hold dear. Please delete my comments from everything actually because non of them are productive. This is not the person I want to be.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah, that’s the hard part for police. Protocol leaves them in a lose-lose situation.

          They shoot him, and those wires turn out to be a thumb triggered bomb, and everyone in the cafe dies – then it’s their fault.

          If they follow protocol, make sure it’s not a bomb, wait for the strategically ideal time to storm the cafe (after the gunman has been sleep deprived for at least a day), then they are accused of waiting too long and get blamed for deaths.

          Either way, they are the ones running into the way of guns and bullets, for people they don’t know, risking their lives, knowing that either way they will be criticised.

          As for the media, they need to make a production out of everything, which is why I avoid it.

          Don’t ever regret voicing your opinions, this is how we both learn. It’s fun to engage other people!


          1. It doesn’t feel like engaging you it feels like I’m challenging you and that isn’t right and I don’t understand why your positive posts do this to me it’s like I need to challenge them. But I don’t want to achieve anger… I’m attention seeking and I don’t like seeing that in myself, it shows that I really don’t think before I speak.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I really appreciate that but being myself is too much a conflicting thing to me. Because being myself has really not gotten me anywhere good in my life so far. I need to be mindful and I need to learn what is and what is not appropriate. I need to find the being myself level that doesn’t involve offending everyone around me.


Enlighten Me.

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