Ever since I was old enough to understand jealousy, I’ve been jealous of your country. It seemed to me that you got everything, while we were just left with the tail end of whatever you decided to share with Australia. You get all the concerts. Your country is overly represented in books and movies and TV shows. You have all the theme parks. It seems as though most of the Western world is catered just for you.
But lately, I’ve realized that your country, which to me seemed so perfect as a child, is not as wonderful as I used to believe.
You see, my country may be small, and it may be left out of a lot of things, but we’re a close country. We’re a friendly country. And, majority of the time, we’re a safe country.
Now, these may make me feel proud of my country, but they also make me sad when I think about all of the countries that can’t say this. Especially the last one. Every single person has the right to be safe, but a lot of people don’t actually have that.
It makes me so sad to see the news coming out of your country sometimes, Americans. It makes me sad to see that the country that I once believed was perfect is more broken than I thought.
There are things that I’m not trying to say here. I’m not trying to say that New Zealand is perfect, because it is not. And I am not trying to say that America has no redeeming qualities, because it does. My childhood fantasies were not completely wrong.
What I am trying to say is that all countries are broken in different ways, the same way that all people are broken. I’m saying that it’s important to recognize those broken places and to stick them back together. To repair them. I know that New Zealand has many places in need of repair, as does every country. But today, I’m specifically talking about America.
Americans, I don’t understand what it is like to live in your country. To have the privileges that I so often craved as a child, and yet to have dozens of people killed when they’re having a fun night out. I don’t understand how that affects you. Do you feel unsafe? Do you feel too removed from the situation or too used to it to be affected? I’m curious to know.
But really what I wanted to say was that I’m praying for your country. I’m praying for something to change, so that a fun night out doesn’t become something terrible. So that people can feel safer. I’m praying for you. It makes me so sad to hear about everything that goes on, and not be able to do anything about it. Except pray. Please know that what I really want to do is to bundle up all of those who have lost loved ones and hug them tight. I’ll have to settle for virtual hugs instead.
Americans, I’m praying for you. I know that your country can make a change, and become the nation that I imagined you to be.