I believe in the strength of the human spirit.Â Perhaps it is required to survive, but have found we are strong enough to endure the worst of humanity. Â It is not a challenge to find media reporting senseless acts of violence and cruelty to fellow humans. Â We have become de-sensitized by the madness of our chaos and the gluttony of our culture.
As much as I enjoy the liberties and luxuries this great country provides, I am ashamed to be American when, following a day filled with family and thanks, we battle and trample one another to get a great bargain.Â I say with certain sincerity there is nothing commercial I need so much it is worth fighting another.
And fight we do.Â We fight for justice only to learn loopholes in the law allow for white collar criminals to walk free.Â We fight against beliefs that do not mirror our own, and we fight to save our jobs in an economy that is making the rich richer. We fight because we do not understand.
Many of our leaders and elected officials focus on fast fixes, rather than taking an honest and critical look at the source of our issues and inventing creative solutions. There doesn’t seem to be personal or corporate accountability, let alone awareness of the harm being inflicted on our planet’s precious resources. We squander and scheme for the sake of a profit.
I wonder when we became so passionate about televisions and video games and so lackadaisical about solving world hunger and ending disease and strife.Â Where is that balance?
Sometimes I become so overwhelmed that I seek sanctuary in the comfort of quiet, wherever I might find it.
In that silence, I seek the light that makes the shadow dark.
As I sit, I am reminded that for every violent crime and act of cruelty, there is an alternate opportunity for learning to forgive.Â Â I see that gluttony is a result of abundance and I give thanks for the prosperity of our planet.
While I may never understand the energy of black Friday, I choose to believe a child’s wish will be granted when they wake to the magic of gifts under the tree on Christmas morning because of a 4 a.m. bargain.
Where our criminal justice system is concerned, I believe the two hardest things to contemplate are faith and fear, and they are one in the same.
Balance is the natural consequence of time and nature, and if we wait long enough, anything can realize its potential. Coal becomes diamonds; sand becomes pearls; and apes become man.Â But it may not be given to us in one lifetime to see those consummations. So our faith becomes a reminder of our fears.
But injustice is a special kind of fear.Â It is a reminder that no matter how devoutly wished for or believed in, some consummations may never come. Some injustices may not be balanced in this lifetime, and some apes will never be men; not in all the world’s time.
That realization doesn’t make the growing gap between the rich and poor any easier to swallow, nor does it justify meanness and ruthlessness, but it strengthens my faith to believe that perhaps some things simply need more time.
In my solitude, I commune with my soul and remember I am not in charge of the universal plan; nor am I going to change the world.Â At least not alone.Â I choose to change my perspectives and see the darkness that surrounds for the beauty that it brings. That view takes courage, but it shifts the ordinary to the extraordinary and all is well in my world again.
The human spirit triumphant.