Love to Survive

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

At times, I’m not sure that even love can ever overcome all our hate, we seem so fond of it. I wonder why, when it’s so corrosive, so destructive and cancerous. If we didn’t know better, we might think humans are just fucking stupid, and have a death wish as a species. But that can’t be it – we’re called “Homo sapiens” after all. One of the finest funny-always jokes. Makes me wince, though. And sigh. And then it makes me straighten my spine, set my jaw, and get on with it. If we just give up, we are finished.

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality …. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

So all right, my faith and hope may falter now and then. I may persist mostly from sheer mulishness, but that is still better than apathy. Besides, we humans have this almost annoying habit of doing something decent just often enough to keep total despair at bay.

“The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope.” –Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

There it is – fear, hatred and cynicism may look like the “realistic” view of the world at times. But then what? Is that all we want for ourselves and our children, to live in the inescapable prison of suspicion, anger, greed and ignorance, holed up in bleak bunkers with our AK-47’s and MRE’s? Yes, we live in a dangerous world. When was it ever otherwise? Should we therefore write off any chance of human progress, assume a fetal position and crawl off to die in a hole? Seems pretty gutless. People have survived unimaginable, unspeakable things; genocide, slavery, pandemics and oppression, and some have even found the strength and will to create beauty and joy in their midst. If they could do it, we can do it. Yes, it does feel as if we’re living through a disappointing time of regression and reaction, which is certainly discouraging. So what? Must we admit that we are nothing but spoiled infants, demanding instant gratification or we’ll throw a tantrum? Power and money look unbeatable – but so did the Roman Empire, the Mongol hordes, and Adolf Hitler. Our world will only be better when we make it better. These are trying times, so let’s get busy and try something!


About l. l. frederick

I'm pretty ordinary, so I find any number of things in the world interesting, among them: books, music, flowers, food, social justice, politics and (sometimes!) people. As for my writing, I've decided that I can be subtle and tasteful when our only problems are esthetic ones. Or when I'm dead, whichever comes first. In the meantime, read at your own risk.
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