Asel Tamga Ignites a Movement of Unity and Love
Being the first is a big deal.
We celebrate the first student to answer the question, the first athlete to cross the finish line, the first visionary to prove the impossible, possible.
In most of our communities, we even celebrate the first to be born in our cities at the start of a new year.
What better personifies the promise of a new year, the potential within it, the reason for hope, optimism and rejoicing than the birth of a child?
With 2018 just 47 minutes old, a little one was welcomed into the world at a hospital in Vienna. After calling other hospitals in the region it was clear that baby Asel was indeed the first.
The delight of the young parents on the birth of their first child was shared by the entire hospital staff and then with the entire community. Several posts were also shared on social media celebrating “Vienna’s New Year’s Baby” with the region.
However, what was intended as a cause for celebration quickly spiraled in a most unforeseen direction.
You see, Vienna’s firstborn of 2018 was born to Naime and Alper Tamga. In the picture shared online, the proud father embraced his exhausted young wife, as she cuddled her newborn with a beautiful smile. And because of her religious tradition, she also wore a bright pink headscarf.
Rather than the traditional comments welcoming this new baby, social media ignited in a flurry of hate speech and bigotry. Dozens of comments criticizing the family, disparaging their religion, demanding they return to their homeland, and much worse were posted online.
Baby Asel became the unfortunate poster child for the fear-based, narrow-minded, anger that still exists in Austria – and in all regions of the world.
But as Desmond Tutu reminds us, good is stronger than evil and love is stronger than hate. With that truth as fuel, a few on social media fought back.
Comments welcoming this child and this family began trickling in, then flowing, and eventually deluging the negativity. The notes poured in not just from the city, but from the entire country and around the world. Tens of thousands posted, wrote notes and sent gifts congratulating the family and letting them know that they were welcomed.
Just days old, baby Asel quickly became the poster child of a very different movement.
This child inspired the voice of the love-based, open-hearted, joy that exists in all parts of Austria – and all regions of the world – to be heard. This voice is fueled with a sense for gratitude for all they have, strives to make things even better, and enjoys a sincere optimism that the best is yet to come. It’s an attitude that awakens unity, new possibility, and life-giving solutions.
My friends, with so much negativity in our communities and world, let us collectively seek the promise of a better tomorrow. Let us desire, and then make real, a better community and world.
The good news as you enter your Monday and launch into your week is that good is stronger than evil; love is stronger than hate; light is stronger than darkness; life is stronger than death.
This is your day. Live Inspired.
Do you have a story of good conquering evil, love overcoming hate, light washing away the darkness? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!