Dec. 7, 2015
As a child the world seemed to be filled with magic this time of year.
Now, as I grow older, wonder is replaced with darkness. I’ve become more sensitive to the void and less receptive to the light; my childhood eyes have aged.
War, terrorism, mass shootings and death flow through my mind instead of flighty dreams of joy, peace and love toward all.
But when I peek out from under the dark veil the world cast over my eyes, I am blinded by a different kind of light.
I see a light that is filled with such selflessness it takes my breath away.
This light shines from those who stand up against the darkness; the true heroes of the world.
One day before the Paris shootings, in an incident reported by the Washington Post, Adel Termos jumped on a suicide bomber while walking through a market in Beruit, Lebanon.
This happened in front of his daughter. His sacrifice not only saved his child, but all those within the blast radius.
On Nov. 27, Officer Garrett Swasey also made a sacrifice. He risked losing his life on a daily basis by wearing a uniform that served as a barrier between evil and the rest of the world.
These are the heroes that made the news. They sacrificed themselves in the ultimate act of heroism. They inspire others to take a stand against the darkness. Now, their work is complete.
It is up to us, those who are capable of laboring through the dark, to shine our own lights. On a daily basis, small acts of courage and selflessness can illuminate the world around us.
Helping a neighbor in need, volunteering and empathizing with a friend all serve as small sparks that drive the shadows in this world away.
Individually, these small acts barely penetrate the gloom, but together, they form the most majestic, warming and hopeful of visions; darkness doesn’t stand a chance.
I believe that through small acts of love and kindness we can prevent larger acts of hate ever coming to fruition.
Consider a dark room. When the light is switched on, the dark vanishes. No fuss, no fight, it’s gone. But it’s important to remember that light exists out of effort, some sort of energy transfer.
Darkness doesn’t work at anything. The second the light goes out, it fills the emptiness.
Shining a light requires work. Perhaps that’s why they call it “fighting the good fight.”
There will be people who will have periods in their life when their light won’t shine. Just remember that we’re part of a community. We can shine for them.
Sometimes their light may never come back on again, and can result in darkness slipping through a crack.
Here it takes more than just shining brightly to compensate for their missing light, but helping them through counselors, psychologists, doctors, or even you, in some small but significant way.
My point is this: shine a light.
It doesn’t matter how small you may think it is. Once your act touches someone else, it can switch on their light, resulting in a chain of small ignitions that can result in a force that is brighter than any star.