Friday, April 19, 2013

Climbing Mountains

After a week like this, how can one not be left feeling heavy? Heavy with the weight of sorrow and fear, heavy with the knowledge that we can try to solve it by duking it out in the political arena, but evil never hides and people can always find it and use it. Maybe we are never fully safe from each other, a thought that makes me weep. Because we need people. We need each other so desperately.

There are a million reasons to lose our faith in humanity. Look around. Boston might be the biggest indicator right now but every crime committed, every judgmental comment slung about, every voice raised in anger at another, can turn into a cacophony, reverberating through us all, trying to drown out everything else.


Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it. ~Helen Keller

I found this quote tonight on Kelle Hampton's blog and it sunk into my soul, dripping into the sadness and the hurt and filling the holes. Because the truth of that one statement can be stronger than the cacophonous evil. Evil doesn't win. But that truth lies in our perspective, in the way we see the world. We could focus only on the first part, on the real-and-never-changing truth that the suffering will always be a part of our reality. And we could leave it there, losing hope. Losing faith. Never taking a step to rectify it. That's one way to see the world.

But it's not the only way. The perspective can shift, the angle can tilt. We can choose what we see, what we zoom in on, how we respond. Perspective and action. A better world might actually hinge on those two powerful things. This week, I attended an Earth Day conference with Dr. Jane Goodall as keynote speaker. Her message that night (the afternoon of the bombing in Boston, though I was not aware of it at the time) was that even though there are so many problems in our world- people hungry, forests decimated, species endangered- the story isn't over. The die has not been cast. She outlined the reasons why she still has hope, why she has not given up. Three things: human intellect, the resiliency of Nature, and the indomitable human spirit. The indomitable human spirit. Indomitable. As in: cannot be dominated. Too strong to be destroyed.

As humans, we are capable of building mountains of hate and judgment and anger... and sometimes those mountains can seem to blot out the view. But we are also capable of love and forgiveness and empathy. We have the power to seek the beautiful amid the brutal, climbing those mountains, dominating them with our indomitable spirits. Let compassion guide our eyes and our hands and our spirits, and there is nothing we cannot do.

Prayers to Boston tonight. Let's go climb some mountains.


  1. So true, dear Jillian. Attitude and perspective is everything. There has been horror and ugliness on earth throughout history -- the beauty we see is our choice. We get to decide how we behave, what we see, and whom we affect. I'm just learning this. Sometimes it's all but impossible to notice the joy, but it's there humming right beside the filth. x

    1. Thanks Mabel, I couldn't agree more! I think it involves invoking our Anne Shirley-ness. :)

  2. What a tragedy. But you are right. Tomorrow can be better because we make it that way. What a great post on such a sad devastating event.

    1. Thanks Emily! I think we're all more powerful than we imagine we are.


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