In the aftermath of last week’s terrorist attack in New Zealand, all eyes have turned toward the country’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. She gave a powerful address to Parliament, in which she urged people to not speak the name of the attacker who took the lives of 50 Muslim worshipers. “Speak the names of those who were lost rather than the name of the man who took them,” she said. “He may have sought notoriety, but we in New Zealand will give him nothing — not even his name.” (Source – Hilary Whiteman, CNN)
Not a bad idea. Maybe we should stop mentioning the names of those who terrorize our sanity and start mentioning those who support us with integrity and righteousness.
Do names, like labels, give you meaning? Perhaps they enable the individuated self to feel important. At the least, they separate us from each other. Separate our identity from each other. Perhaps, with no names attached, we could allow our empathy to take shape and feel each other’s joy and pain more succinctly. This could produce the love we are sorely missing, and give us a sense of the equality we are so desperately seeking.