I've been slowly giving up on humanity, and perhaps it's because I spend too much time hovering around the Internet, which magnifies the degree of ignorance and hateful comments and rudeness and entitlement and shallowness that seems to be so prevalent these days. When news from Boston began to trickle in, it was all I could do not to just throw my hands in the air and quit the human race.
But something else happened. The light shone more brightly that day, too, driving back all of the awful and showing the strength and compassion that we are capable of. The message was clear, and the echoes resounded loudly: love always wins. The sheer volume of love last week brought tears to my eyes. Despite all of the bad things that seem to happen more and more, I don't quite remember such a loud message of love and determination before. Not after 9/11, not after Newtown, not after Steubenville. Something feels different this time. It feels like the good guys finally all stood up at once and said "enough."
We have let the demons play too long. We have gotten into petty arguments and political interests and argued over cause and blame. Today, we go deeper, to the very heart of it - Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. It feels like it has finally sunk in, and I hope it sticks.
Something else happened last week that has completely changed my life and my heart forever. My little nephew was born on Wednesday morning, and I've never been so attached to another person as I was to him. Babies have a way of making us realize what's important, I think. They start so innocent, and the world has the capacity to break them down and make them hard and bitter, as it has done to so many of us. But I can't help but wonder what he will be like when he grows up, if he and his peers will pick up the torch and put an end to this destructive, devisive behavior that we're engaged in. I hope he doesn't have to. I hope we can do it ourselves - our generation is still young. We're still "on deck" - our parents and grandparents are still in charge, and they hold tight to a status quo that is rapidly becoming obsolete. We have the power to change things, guys. If not now, then soon. I think we are on just the right side of jaded, where our disillusionment is fueling our fire to be something more, be something better. And maybe that simply means being better people, being better to each other.
Having a new baby in the family is such a powerful source of light and love, and it's been hard to reconcile this feeling of joy against all of the bad that's been showing up all over my screen. I could not process anything happening in the news, because my heart was so full from holding that baby, and the conflict of emotions was like whiplash. I didn't want to let go of that warm, happy feeling in order to be properly outraged, and I was angry at the world for introducing such awfulness into my happy bubble. The dissonance was overpowering and I felt almost suspended in a state of empty emotion - how could I allow myself to be so content and joyful when so many people are suffering and scared?