This past New Year’s Eve, a Maryland lawmaker’s 25 year old son committed suicide. His devastated parents put out a press release that included the last sentence from the note that this young man left behind:
“Please look after each other, the animals and the global poor for me. All my love, Tommy.’”
I’m no psychiatrist, but it is clear to me that there are those right now who are struggling with the totality of events occurring not just in the United States, but around the world. Media of every kind are bombarding us with images and information designed to provoke an emotional response.
And then there’s us.. super spreaders in our own right as we text and forward, call and post. To quote Billy Joel, “we didn’t start the fire..” but we sure keep adding our own logs. It seems it’s not enough to be informed these days, we need to be activated. If your hair’s not on fire, something is wrong with you.
But not everyone can emotionally handle this constant level of agitation.
Do we feel even a tinge of responsibility for the people who are drinking too much, using drugs or jumping off bridges? What about those who seem driven to deputize themselves as super-heroes, slipping beyond the borders of normal society with the hopes of becoming (in)famous characters in a chapter of our nation’s history?
When the “credits” roll, will our names be listed as contributors to this chaos? Did we help create the poisonous atmosphere of detachment, desperation and despondency?
These are unprecedented times.
There has never been a greater need for each of us to be a light in the darkness.
I consider it my sacred duty at this point to reflect hope for those who are struggling with the effects of this daily diet of anxiety and fear. I can’t change the headlines, but I can offer you the respite and reassurance that is the cornerstone of my faith.
We need more lights to be released into this darkest of nights.
Hurting, fragile people don’t need to hear another opinion,
what they need is love, hope and encouragement.
Can you be the light for them?