2/18/2006

Light & Darkness, Darkness & Light

I just read a blog where the writer was consumed by a feeling that something big was about to happen and it would appear that whatever "IT" was, it was not going to be good. She received many comments that both commiserated with and added to the feelings of doom and gloom.

I am not a Pollyanna by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I all too often see the proverbial glass as half empty. Having said that, this was my response to the blogger.

I would like to shed some light on the darkness in this thread. Just today I got a phone call from Jesse. He convinced me to join a group of people in my community who will meet monthly to get out a progressive message in our country that will stick and resonate with a growing number of people who are fed up with the "darkness" that has pervaded our lives in the last several years. Without getting into the nitty gritty and at the risk of sounding naive to some readers, I am here to say that in fact, just today, after speaking with Jesse and committing myself to join these local coordinating councils, I have begun to feel a little more uplifted, somewhat more hopeful , a wee bit LIGHTER. Margaret Mead said,
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Just last night I happened to go to Friday night Sabbath services, something I rarely do, but did to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of my father's death, to say Kaddish along with my brother, sister and children. As it happened, the regular Rabbi was not there; instead, the service was led by a rabbi-in-training, who must have been all of 22 years old. Her years were few, but her words were wise. She told us (AND I AM DEFINITELY PARAPHRASING HERE) that the "Parsha" (Portion) of this weeks Torah reading had to do with Moses being told by his father-in-law that he, Moses, can not expect to carry out the task of improving his people's lot on his own; that it is too large a burden for one person to carry. It is not that he shouldn't do this alone, but that he can not do it alone. He must ask the help of others and thus share the burden.

I took this to mean that though neither I, nor you, can change our world for the better on our own, if we pool our abilities and our efforts and our blood, sweat and tears, then we can and we will and we must take on the responsibility to help, to build up and to make a difference. Only in this way can we shed some light and dispel the darkness. It is far better to try this, then to hang on tenaciously to our fears and linger in the dark.

How often and how easy it is to go about kvetching, "the sky is falling; the sky is falling". I do not believe that change will come by the grace of god, nor as a result of prayer and not even if we hope and hope as hard as we can. Social justice, a clean environment, a fair system of law and a fair and effective government, in other words some much needed LIGHT will happen by the efforts for change made by you and me and anyone else who wants to join in and come along for the ride..

sherril

3 comments:

Diane S. said...

I'm obviously, one of the commenters on the blog which you are discussing, and I too see dark things, and have a deep sense of foreboding. I agree with you completely about what one should do about such feelings, that one should spread light where one may and in whatever manner one may.

I still have Yeats in my head though. He's had a standing gig for a while now.

Sherril said...

Diane,
What oh what would I do without you and your preseince and readership???
Sherril

Dave said...

Substituting "progressive" for "liberal" really doesn't fool us red-state types. I don't doubt your sincerity--just your worldview.