First some ground rules. We are not going to get hung up on semantics. We are not going to get hung up on ideologies. We are not going to get hung up on religion or politics. We are going to play nicely, and we are going to share the toys, and we are not going to make me come down there, because that is the entire damned point of today’s ‘Tract. Capisce? Good.
Right now the world is in a wee tiny bit of turmoil. Hurricane Sandy did its level best to make life as difficult as possible for people in the northeastern part of the United States, and now there’s talk that a nor’easter might be on its way to add insult to injury. People are being killed in far-away places, and people are being killed in our own hometowns, because people have apparently decided that human life isn’t quite so important as one might think. People are freaking out politically, and if I see one more commercial supporting the “legitimate rape” guy, my head might explode.
In short, welcome to the handbasket.
But y’know what? Despite it all, I am filled with hope and joy and optimism…because this ship may be sinking, but man, we are apparently going down singing.
Over the last few days, the news has been awfully diligent about making sure we know just how Very Very Bad It All Is, and I get that. Drama draws viewers, and viewers draw advertisers. But if you listen carefully, and watch out of the corner of your eye, you can also see stories emerging about how amazing we as people can be if we all find a common boulder to put our shoulders behind. There are folks all over New York and New Jersey who are running extension cords out to power strips so strangers without power can come charge their cell phones. Folks are opening their homes to friends who have lost electricity, have lost heat, or have lost everything. Folks are organizing food drives, fund drives, and spending their time on late-night talk shows urging people to donate to the Red Cross.
Here in the middle of nowhere, I put together a holiday Adopt-a-Family party and invited just about everyone I know in town, with the idea that if we all pitch in a little bit, we can make some family’s holiday really extraordinary…and I’ve gotten RSVPs from people who I know full well are struggling to keep their own heads above water, but who nonetheless want to take the opportunity to chip in, even if they can only contribute a little bit, to bring joy to the face of a child they’ll never actually see.
So yes, I get it: the storm is big, and bleak, and scary. The waves are rolling, and there’s a chance that we’ll all end up overboard, trying desperately to keep our heads above water.
But I don’t even care. Because no matter how big this storm may be, I am seeing every day that god–the god that shines through you when you take care of your fellow man, the god that shines through you when you live your best life so that you can inspire others–is bigger than any storm can ever be.
And in that, I take infinite comfort.