I find myself avoiding television news and most newspapers, even the Singapore Straits Times. While the Straits Times is a feel good newspaper, it still finds itself compelled to record the tragedies of the day. An explosion here or there, another natural disaster, and the outcome of evil inspired humanity can be found everywhere one looks. I am not looking to be in denial. The fact that individuals rich and poor, powerful and weak struggle with a painful reality is always fresh in my mind. The fact that individuals are starving, especially due to the greed and inhumanity of others in his and her community, is never far from my reflection. The hard reality of how cruel human beings can be to each other is something I believe I understand. Reading about it, struggling to accept the photographic and video evidence, is a depressing reminder of what I already accept as life's reality.
Life's reality can be overwhelming. In my struggle, it helps to remember that nothing is new. Across history, “a famine descended on that entire region, stretching from Egypt to Canaan, bringing terrific hardship. Our hungry fathers looked high and low for food, but the cupboard was bare.” (Acts 7.11) Additionally, man has been inspired by Evil for as long as one cares to remember.
Life's reality also contains wonder and beauty. The joy found when a parent hears happiness and peace in their voice is beyond comprehension. The inspiration when one gives hope to another comes with an embedded power to change one's perspective from the inside out. If one is willing to see, the awe found a simple picture of the ordinary could infuse one's soul with a renewed grasp of what can be in every life.
You and I hold freedom within our grasp. We can exercise it in a way of our choosing. Events do not dictate our response. We choose. Today, I choose beauty and wonder, awe and grace, mercy and community. I will embrace the best in those within my community. I will give what I have.
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