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‘In the darkest of times … turn on the light

Posted: April 16, 2013 11:34 a.m.
Updated: April 17, 2013 5:00 a.m.

With all the senseless and terrible things that have been occurring throughout our country, it’s been difficult for me to keep my faith in humanity. I’ve always kept a quote from Oscar Wilde that reads “Everyone may not be good, but there is something good in everyone” close at hand. And I’ve also firmly believed in that… up until recently. Now I find it more difficult to believe that those who are behind destructive occurrences that affect innocent people have even a smudge of goodness buried deep within them.

But then I think about the aftermath of these events. Not the sorrow or anger, although those emotions are there. I’m talking about the actions of strangers. The outpouring of love from those across our country when disasters occur is inspiring at the very least. They remind me that though there are terrible, awful people in this world, there are also people who spread light wherever they go: people who I’m sure have done what they would consider terrible things but are still capable of care and love.

With the arrival (finally) of sunshine and warm weather, I think it’s good to remember the light that people can spread even in the darkest of circumstances. A quote from Martin Luther King comes to mind: “darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.” It reminds me of how quickly my mood changes when I wake up and it’s dark and gloomy outside and then that little bit of sunshine peaks through the clouds. That’s sort of how I feel whenever I hear about a tragedy and then immediately following see my Facebook or Twitter feed covered in people trying to do what they can do to help strangers. Even if it is in just sending up prayers or support. There are still people out there spreading sunlight.

I’m also reminded of how important perspective is. It’s easy to get bogged down with all the negativity that’s happening and focus on only the bad. But if you can just think more about the helpers, the hundreds and thousands and sometimes even millions that are there to help out those who have been affected by the darkness, it helps just a little. Although it still doesn’t make any sense of tragedy, it does show that though the tragedy may have been committed by a handful of individuals, the amount of helpers after those occurrences outweighs the “bad” people.

While I’m no longer completely convinced that there is a little bit of good inside of everyone, I’m completely convinced that there is more than a little good in humanity as an entirety. There are helpers everywhere. As these tragedies become more and more frequent I have to learn to look for the sunshine. No matter how small or fleeting the ray of light is, there will always be a little peek of sunshine at some point during a storm. Even if it’s not until the very end. The sun will always push the storm away. So with that said I leave you a little smidgen of wisdom from one of my literary heroes, Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter, anyone?): “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

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