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.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the holidays we celebrate at this time of year—Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas—all have light as a central theme. With the Solstice (December 21st in the Northern Hemisphere), the ancients celebrated the return of the light. From that day on, the dark winter days would gradually lengthen, bringing spring to the earth once again. Hannukkah celebrates an event in Jewish history during which the lamp oil that was only supposed to last for one day burned instead for eight days. Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, the “Light of the World.” They’re all about hope, about the light dispelling the darkness.
I think the message these holidays can bring us is that, even in the darkness, we need to remember the light. Especially in times of darkness, we need to remember that there is light. For every act of hatred, there is an act of lovingkindness. For every tortured, angry, dark soul, there is another soul shining his or her light on the world. And we need to remember, in the midst of the darkness, that we can choose the light.
Blessings to all of you out there who take the time to read this blog. I like to think of you as pinpoints of light scattered across the globe—in 150 countries, from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe. The image comforts me and warms my heart.
So the next time you’re tempted to think, “I’m only one person. What can I do?”…remember that your light joined with the light of all the others like you (and there are others like you) can set the world ablaze with light.
In this season of celebrating the triumph of light over darkness, please, shine your light, whatever that means to you. It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture. Just listen to your heart. You’ll know.
As I like to say, “Merry Happy!” Wherever you are, I wish you a beautiful, peaceful, light-filled season and send my light across the miles to join with yours.