“If your house is on fire, you don’t comfort yourself with the thought that houses have been catching fire for thousands of years. You don’t sit idly back and think, ‘Oh well, that is the way of nature.’ You get going, immediately. And you don’t spring into action because of an idealistic notion that houses deserve to be saved. You do it because if you don’t, you won’t have a place to live.” ~Bill Nye, Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World, 2015
We have a president that ignores and dismisses anything that is not profitable to himself in some way or another. His entire focus is power and wealth. But like most men wrapped up in themselves, he is a disgustingly small package.
At a time in history when climate change demands strong, determined action from global leaders, the #BLOTUS, thumbs his nose at science and turns his back on responsibility. He has bet the devil his fiddle of gold won’t melt in the fire. Then the little man paused, smirked, and said, ” to hell with the rest of them.”
I am currently dealing with a number of good people who are angry. Much of that anger is being expressed at me, but I understand why they are angry and what is motivating their anger. The source of their anger and the pain that is causing it is far deeper than me or my words and actions.
Dealing with ugly realities is never easy, and it is especially difficult in a society where we have always desired not dealing with anything ugly, messy or painful. An example is this quote by Voltaire. It is an ugly truth that will immediately make many reading it upset and angry. That, however,m doesn’t change the truthfulness of the quote.
It’s o.k. to get angry at ugly truth and painful facts. But, if we analyze the reason for our anger we have the opportunity to grow from it.
We can then work to either accept or change the ugly truth which makes us angry. Or, as in the case with some of those who are now directing their anger toward me, we can ignore the truth until it becomes an infection of anger and bitterness causing us to lash out in pain.
The only problem with the latter approach is that the source of the infection, that ugly truth still needs to be dealt with, doesn’t it?
Most of us would agree that we live in a time of challenge and controversy. Growing violence around the world, terrorism, politicians spewing hatred and unabashed bigotry, a polarization and ever-widening chasm between the obscenely rich and the abysmally poor; it all points to the need for us to demonstrate our true values.
We need men and women of faithfulness to stand up and quietly reflect the values that seem to be getting buried in the ugly rhetoric and political posturing that surround us. Am I the only one thoroughly sick of politicians and presidential candidates grandstanding to the lowest common denominator?
There are times when silence is not golden, but just plain yellow. We now find ourselves in such a time. It is time to stand up for what we believe in our hearts to be right, what we know our faith demands of us. It’s time to demonstrate that love is still far more powerful than hatred.
We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. — Victor Frankl
Heroism comes in many guises. It’s not always the bravery of a soldier giving his life for his comrades or the selfless actions of a firefighter risking her life to save a child from a burning building.
As Frankl so eloquently describes, there are heroes who simply do what they can to comfort others in their time of need. The do whatever they are able to make pain more bearable and offer whatever hope they can bring.
All of us have the freedom to be that hero. All of us can carry hope. We are not asked to give away our last piece of bread. But, as Frankl points out, we all have the freedom to choose our own way.
What will we choose today? Will we turn selfishly inward, or will we choose to care enough to be the bringers of comfort to those in need?