“Whenever life turns to great darkness, this is not the end, but the beginning.”Alexander John Shaia
Can you remember any dark, historical times in your life? For me, one of the greatest tragedies was the assassination of President Kennedy. I was an impressionable junior-high school student. I was singing in my music class when our ex-marine principal, who never showed emotion, very emotionally and somberly announced “President Kennedy was shot and killed this morning. School will be dismissed at 1 o’clock.” That was it! No other explanation. No cell phones to call home in the horror. Students were weeping in the hall. Teachers were aghast, providing weak leadership, and no answers. No bus to take us home because we all walked or had our parents drive us to school. I truly lived about a mile from school. I started to walk home past the shopping center and everyone was crying. The grief and shock was palpable without any words being said. It was an apprehensive and sad walk home. It seemed like all hope was gone – like the sun had gone out. My Mom greeted me with a tear-stained grin. We sat in front of the black and white TV and to my horror, it was real. Even Walter Cronkite, the iconic newsman, could not contain his sadness. It felt like the world was about to end. It felt like we would never recover. But we did.
The late 60’s and 70’s were also a tumultuous time in history. Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated in the same year. The threat of nuclear war, the Vietnam War, the killing fields in Cambodia, the violent political protests on campuses, Watergate, racial riots all added to the instability. But concurrently, some popular artists and musicians were countering that time with songs of light and hope.
“Come on people now, smile on your brother. Everybody get together and love one another right now.” The Youngbloods
“All we need is love. All we need is love. All we need is love, love. Love is all we need.” The Beatles
“Jesus is just alright with me. Jesus is just alright, oh yeah. Jesus is just alright with me. Jesus is just alright.” The Doobie Brothers
There’s been a turning, an awakening during this current plight. We are in the middle of a transformation, a threshold, that is affecting our entire world. People are getting creative in spreading love and hope. Even the corporate world has caught on. A majority of commercials are about caring and helping others. (Being a child of the 60’s, I can be quite cynical about the corporations but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt!)
We are immersed in a critical time. We are at a crossroads. We have choices to make-
- light or darkness
- compassion or indifference
- love or hatred
- hope or hopelessness
- faith or fear
- justice or oppression
- understanding or stereotyping
- wisdom or foolishness
The choice is yours… and mine.
Ted Talk – Bill Gates – How We Must Respond to the Coronavirus Pandemic