It is difficult not to despair when the news seems to be so chock-full of injustices perpetrated on people from all around the world. I am clinging to my belief in the goodness of humanity, but just barely. When I read stories of cruelty, abuse, torture and the like my heart falls to my feet. But isn’t that what despots and egomaniacs are hoping for? To make us bend to their control? To make us lose hope? A broken people are much easier to control. Everything is me shouts a resounding ‘NO!’ I will NOT lose hope!
I do believe in a just and loving Creator. I believe we are all imbued with that same loving spirit, regardless of nationality, the color of our skin, or the religion we espouse. Unfortunately, the gift of free will allows many to subjugate this spirit. Yet, I see daily the evidence of goodness, compassion, and kindness. At the library where I work at the front desk, situated across from a bay of public computers, I watch patrons interact with one another. Often perfect strangers aid one another with computer issues, or show a new patron what to do to release a print job. It is heartening. Yes, there are cruel people, but there are also gentle and kind souls. People who are willing to help their fellow citizens – whether here at home or those who travel afar to offer service to those in other lands.
When I am feeling a bit down and disappointed with how cruel the world has become I hear an answer deep in my soul. It comes from the Christmas Carol, “I heard the Bells on Christmas Day”. It was written by Henry W. Longfellow in 1864 and these particular verses resonate with me:
“And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
God is not dead nor does He sleep
For Christ is here, his spirit near
Brings peace on earth good will to men…”
Throughout history there has been cruelty, but there has also been great love. I write this to remind myself of that fact. I will just leave this quote here:
‘When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it – always.’ M.K. Gandhi