20 January 2011


I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sometimes I'm afraid that darkness and sorrow are growing more powerful every day. Sometimes I feel so utterly helpless that I want to give up hope. Sometimes I look at myself in the grand scheme of things and I am nothing but a speck--insignificant and unimportant; useless and small up against the terrors of the world. I am afraid that my weaknesses will make me incapable of being who I should be. I am afraid that even in my best moments I cannot begin to diminish the myriad of woes that beset humankind, that we inflict upon each other and the earth and other creatures. There are moments when I curse the world and can do nothing but cry and lament the dismal conditions I see around me. And there are reasons for lamentation: the old man on the corner in the cold, holding out his humble hands for anything a stranger might decide he is worthy to receive; the deaths of six people in a shooting down the street from my house in Tucson; the continual oppression of people in countries across the world, from Myanmar to Afghanistan to Zimbabwe; war and conflict abound in countless places; political rivalries are taken to extremes; and even those of us who are blessed with so much have personal struggles and pains and doubts.

But I know it is only weakness that makes me dwell on these things. It is not strength or love or hope or charity, but fear and pessimism--things that will never be noble; things that will never make the world a better place.

Listening to Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream Speach," reading his words, and turning to the same inspiration he followed, the Savior, Jesus Christ, I know that there is hope. I know that even in those darkest moments--the "starless midnight[s]"--love and faith can prevail. Joy can be found in the most desolate corners of the earth and in the humblest homes. We are strong. Man is able to overcome so much. And in the end, it will not be the suffering and the sins of the world that will matter, but the moments of charity and unity and peace that shine forth in its midst. I know that if I am to keep hope, I must choose faith, and believe that "
unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word." And that even the small difference that I can make matters.

No comments: