I have to keep reminding myself that it was ALWAYS thus. Whether you’re watching today’s news or reading about ancient history, the stories are remarkably the same.

There have always been people in the world who will take advantage of others. Sometimes, it is politically, sometimes economically, sometimes physically.

Politicians and tyrants

Corporations and the greedy bastards living at the top of the hill

Mafias and gangs

And there have always been people who choose to look the other way, who choose to make peace with the darkness, as long as it doesn’t bother them.

“It’s not my problem if they don’t know how to take care of themselves.”

“They should have made better life choices.”

“Keep their filth away from me. I don’t want to stink like that.”

But. There have always been lights in the darkness, too. Sometimes we hear their stories, but more often than not, they affect only one starfish at a time. But they are here, among us. Always.

There are the activists, who change their worlds with words and firm deeds. MLK and Gandhi come to mind as examples, but they did not stand alone, and there are plenty of people today, standing tall for the rights of others.

There are those who give unconditionally, of what they have, be it money, or time, or their own energy. Mother Teresa, of course, but also people who volunteer to build homes for others, or teach someone else how to read, or helping out at a hospital—or even a hospice.

Then there are those singular moments that can affect us profoundly: a stranger on the street who offers you a smile when you’re having a rough day or the tall person who helps someone reach the bottle on the top shelf or the family that buys shoes each year for the poorest children at their local school.

Being a Light in the Darkness isn’t always about great deeds; it’s also about small deeds that affect others greatly. It’s about being aware of the darkness and giving of yourself anyway.

And it was always thus.

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