After blogging about immigration reform and following the news about the mega disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, I wanted to focus on a more hopeful perspective today. The many tragedies that have been saturating the airwaves are heavy mind-heart-soul pollutants, and I needed a “good” antidote, which I found it in my little garden.
I’ve been tending a small patch of vegetables and flowers that I planted in our yard. When I went outside yesterday at dusk, I was delighted to see the twinkling of the first fireflies of the summer season flickering around the tiny shoots of corn, beans and squash. Fireflies are so beautiful! They’re like magical fairies who return every year to remind me of more carefree times. They infuse me with a sense of joy and wonder at the natural world.
Last night, those little fireflies reminded me to keep hoping for the best in human nature to prevail. Here’s a quote from Howard Zinn, which is a “good” antidote and worth rereading, as often as needed:
“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacriﬁce, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something.
“If we remember those times and places-and there are so many-where people have behaved magniﬁcently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future.
“The future is an inﬁnite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in deﬁance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”
~N. Logsdon Mandelkorn