Tuesday, 26 August 2014


On a cold and miserable afternoon earlier this month I was reflecting on what to pen in this week’s column. The hot topics of the day came to mind. The All Blacks and the Wallabies clash at Eden Park. The recent funeral of a friend was weighing heavily on my mind. Nicky Hagar’s new book ‘Dirty Politics’ is receiving some very mixed reactions. All of these subjects and many more are typical water cooler topics of the day. 

But when I weighed these up against what is going on in Iraq with ISIS terrorists forcing people to vacate their homes and head for the hills to escape being slaughtered because they would not convert to a radical branch of Islam, I sensed that I found a more worthwhile, meaningful and germane story to comment on. 

It always seems uncomfortable to get too excited about what is going on in overseas countries. We can easily get whipped up over the perceived need for the Gisborne to Wairoa rail link or the pros and cons of fracking but where is our appetite for human rights in general, and more specifically the right of all peoples to live in peace in their own homeland. Out of sight, out of mind ? 

I find it hard to comprehend that we have become so desensitized that what is happening to innocent people in the Middle East today is being glossed over and largely ignored because we are so immersed in events within our own nation’s borders. How often do we hear the words, “Live and let live.” Keep out of my patch and I will keep out of yours. 

This ISIS terrorist threat has enunciated an apocalyptic ‘end of day’s vision’ that must be acknowledged and responded to. We too are also part of their world visionary plan. Time for us all to begin to look out for each other for the continuation of our world the way we know, love and enjoy it !

Garth Hibbert
St Andrews Presbyterian Church 
Garth is a Gisborne born retired business administrator who for the past 15 years has written short stories, anecdotes, columns and reflections about life and current affairs. He is a believer in the Christian faith and a servant of his Lord.

Published in the Gisborne Herald 23 August 2014

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