Why Anastasia Lin Should Win Miss World

I may never follow another Miss World pageant so closely, but in 2016, a year which has seen so much division and conflict, I cannot imagine a more worthy recipient of the crown than a young woman who has struggled through her own journey from repression to freedom, and has done so with a grace, humility and peace that is, to use her favourite term, “awesome”. Her campaign platform is focused specifically on drawing the world’s attention to the horrific allegations of forced organ harvesting in China, human rights more widely, and to the simple belief that every small act of human kindness can contribute to changing the world. Recently she posted on Facebook what she said was one of her favourite cinema quotes, the words of Gandalf in JRR Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings: “Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.” When I shared with her these words of the former Chief Rabbi in the UK, Jonathan Sacks, in his book To Heal A Fractured World, she adopted them almost as her own: “”Against the fundamentalisms of hate, we must create a counter-fundamentalism of love … ‘A little light’, said the Jewish mystics, ‘drives away much darkness’. And when light is joined to light, mine to yours and yours to others, the dance of flames, each so small, yet together so intricately beautiful, begins to show that hope is not an illusion. Evil, injustice, oppression, cruelty do not have the final word.”

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