“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only LIGHT can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only LOVE can do that.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Love is the light that we all have within us. It only takes a single candle to light up the darkness. Light is so much more powerful than darkness. All around us are people stumbling around in the dark. People are hurting, people are afraid and people are lost. We are the stars that fill the darkest night. One person can make a difference.
I am reading, Love for No Reason: 7 Steps to Creating a Life of Unconditional Love by Marci Shimoff, and I love it. There is a story opening the introduction that says what I mean so powerfully. Here it is:
“Through the train window, she watched the villages and vineyards of the Italian countryside go by. It was 1942 and Sussi Penzia, a young Jewish woman who’d fled Nazi Germany, was traveling alone, hoping to remain unnoticed. Since she’d arrived in Italy three years earlier, she’d been moving from place to place, staying with friends and friends of friends, hiding from the authorities. Now she was on her way to yet another safe house in a new town.
Suddenly, the door at the end of the train car swung open and two police officers came in. Sussi’s heart beat wildly. They were wearing the black uniform, of the Fascisti, the government police. To Sussi’s horror, the policemen began making their way down the aisle, stopping at every row to examine papers of each passenger.
Sussi knew that as soon as the policemen discovered she had no papers, she would be arrested. She was terrified she’d end up in a concentration camp and would face unimaginable suffering and almost certain death.
The officers were getting closer, just a few rows away. There was no escape. It was only a matter of minutes before they would reach her seat. Sussi began to tremble uncontrollably, and tears slid down her cheeks.
The man sitting next to her noticed her distress and politely asked her why she was crying.
“I’m Jewish and I have no papers,” she whispered, hardly able to speak.
To her surprise, a few seconds later the man began shouting at her, “You idiot! I can’t believe how stupid you are! What an imbecile!”
The police officers, hearing the commotion, stopped what they were doing and came over. “What’s going on here?” one of them asked. Sussi began to cry even harder.
The man turned a disgusted face to the policemen and said, “Officers, take this woman away! I have my papers, but my wife has forgotten hers! She always forgets everything. I’m so sick of her. I don’t ever want to see her again!”
The officers laughed, shaking their heads at the couple’s marital spat, and moved on.
With a selfless act of caring, the stranger on the train had saved Sussi’s life. Sussi never saw the man again. She never even knew his name.
…He helped her because in that moment of heroism he was moved by an impulse of compassion and unconditional love.”
Opportunities are all around us to be a light for someone else. Most are nowhere near as extreme as this act of heroism but they will be significant.
I lived in NYC most of my life, it is commonplace to step over a homeless person asking for money. In fact, most people are so immune to it they don’t even notice. How often do we look away when we see an elderly person lost or a child crying? We don’t want to get involved, we are too busy. Maybe it is just a kind word to someone who was just berated by a customer that is needed, but opportunities to be a light, to be love, are all around us.
My Challenge: Set your intention to see opportunities to demonstrate love and light in the world throughout your day. Opportunities will show up. Make the most of them, and go for it. Be the change you want to see in the world.
Maria Elena Escobar