Nobel Peace Prize for NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

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Wisdom in tranquillity, like courage under pressure, is admirable, but not unknown. But wisdom and courage, both, being displayed in a situation of unprecedented tension, are exceptional. If a Nobel Prize for Peace could be given to a spontaneous statement for wisdom and courage, rather to a person, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern deserves it. The words spoken by her after the terror attack in Christchurch were few. They are unforgettable. One single, three word sentence, the most so. Referring to the 49 or more killed, she said: “They are us”. Not “they are one of us”, or “they could have been you or me”. None of that cautious, self-insulating, self-indemnifying vagueness. Simply, they are us.

The prime minister traveled to Christchurch to meet with members of the community who are Muslim and refugees. Ardern was clad in black and wearing a hijab, which was interpreted by many as a symbol of respect towards those affected by the attack. As she hugged some of the grieving families, she told them New Zealanders were "united in grief." The gesture was not empty, either. Ardern pledged to cover the funeral costs for every victim and offered additional financial assistance to the families who might need it. She also promised that her cabinet will pursue gun control measures to improve the nation's current laws.

Her strong leadership after the shootings in Christchurch, the first attack of its kind in New Zealand's modern history, could teach a thing or two to other world leaders who at times have come short when tragedy strikes.