When speaking of Courage our thoughts, in this country naturally turn to Anzac Day, which commemorates the signal feat of arms by young Australian and New Zealand men one hundred years ago. And, of course, we also think of the sacrifice and support of Australian and New Zealand women both at home and at the battle front.
And when thinking of their bravery and sacrifice, I am drawn to reflect on the nature and power of Love. Love is a mighty force, a power of attraction, a healing balm, a source of strength and well-spring of comfort. It is a mystery which can t be cut, and weighed, and measured and analysed. But we know it when we see it and feel it.
And the love of one’s country and fellow citizens is a powerful force of inspiration which lifts us up and carries us over our weaknesses, our limitations and our fears, and makes lions out of lambs.
These days there is much talk of universalism, of seeing all people as one people, of understanding other cultures, and of overcoming debilitating divisiveness, and the denigration of the Other . And this is, indeed, a great step forward in humanity’s forward march.
But this universal Love is built on sand if its proponents haven t learnt to love first their family, then their friends, then their associates all of whom they know personally; and then to have expanded that circle of love to their nation, to people with a common history, heritage and values, but whom they will never meet. It is by taking these steps in the expansion of the circle of love that one can truly come to love all mankind.