It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
American humanitarian, politician, and 39th First Lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt, was born on this day in 1884 (died 1962).
Stage actors know that they will at times be told to find their light. Sure, there could be a follow spot, but we’re not all Bette Midler.
For that matter, none of us is Bette Midler, except for The Divine Miss M herself.
Where was I going with this?
There’s a lot of darkness these days. That’s not being prophetic or end-time-ish.
But, look at the news…we can’t fix hurricanes, or wildfires, or the White House, or the NFL…
I could go on, but I think you get the point.
It’s enough to make you run screaming from the keyboard, or even put down your phone.
And these problems are bigger than any one of us can fix on our own. Even if we post to Facebook and Twitter.
So, what do we do about them?
Light a candle.
No, don’t laugh. I’m being serious.
Think about the times when the power goes out and you light that one candle. Remember how much light it gives?
Or perhaps a candlelight vigil, or even a Christmas eve service?
Sure it’s not daylight, or even fluorescent light. But, there’s light and warmth.
There’s something about candlelight that also brings a stillness. That’s in vast contrast to the torches we’ve seen recently which fall into the news categories above.
On a side note, when we have to light the candles at our house, the boys hope we have s’mores ingredients in the cabinet.
But, you ask yourself, what can my one little candle do to erase the darkness?
Well, more than you can accomplish by sitting in the dark.
What we each have to do is choose where and how to shine that light. I think we can all be agreed that the screaming and the venom being tossed about by Washington, and Hollywood, and all across the Interwebz is not doing anything except making other people angry.
Creating more darkness, if you will.
I confess that when I read the headlines and hear the news there are times I want to scream into the keyboard. I was quite good at that back in the day. But, I grew weary and still wonder if I ever really made a difference, ever really changed anyone’s mind.
Back in the dark ages, pre-Internet, and when we relied a lot more on candlelight, I got involved in politics because I was a true believer. So much so that, for the first couple of campaigns or so, I had a hard time accepting the fact that we lost.
Sound familiar? I digress…
So a few years back, when I decided I didn’t want to play those reindeer games anymore, I gave it up. Mostly.
I was thinking yesterday about what I’d invested in politics over the years, and what I’d actually personally gained.
I can promise you it was never fame and fortune.
Instead there were one or two strategic moves, and a lot of disappointment. That’s another story, perhaps in another book.
I’ve shifted in some of my positions, but my core values remain the same. Still, I grew weary of fighting for those who didn’t earn my trust, or my support, just because they carried a certain label.
Instead, I’m over here in my little corner of the Interwebz trying to figure out when and where to light a candle, or when things should just be left in the dark.
That’s all a little vague. So, let me try to wrap this up.
On our own, we can’t fix the big problems. We can’t light the whole world.
There is, in fact, only one Light of the World.
We’re here to reflect that.
So, in this corner, my job is to bring what light I can. To bring what rational thinking I can to the situation. To maybe make you think.
To maybe make me think.
So, this isn’t some type of crusade or campaign. Been there. Done that.
Have quite a few t-shirts.
Instead, it’s a reminder to me that I should light a candle in the darkness when I can.
If you join me, one by one we can shine into the darkness and maybe make a little bit of difference along the way.
One candle with one candle. One voice with one voice.
Let Barry Manilow take us into the day with One Voice.