Eric here. I'm going to get right to the point. Is it just me, or are there more terrible things in the U.S. lately than usual?? Boston, the fertilizer plant in Texas, not a single law to curb gun violence passed, Guantanamo Bay, etc.
Let me tell you it feels more difficult than ever to be an optimist in the deluge of depressing news. And to those of you reading who might remember, this is coming from the guy who got "Most Pessimistic" in my senior year of high school. Needless to say I have radically transformed my worldviews over the last several years. But sometimes, it is unbelievably difficult.
Weird thing is, I think that terrible news actually inspires my newfound optimism. Humans have terrible potential. But the capacity for love is so much greater. Hearing stories of Gabrielle Giffords refusing to give up to the NRA, marathon runners running straight across the finish line to the hospital to give blood, states working toward marriage equality; it's these things that I pick out through the noise of the relentless news media and hope that others do the same.
I have been feeling a sense of patriotism that is previously unfamiliar to me, inspired by these stories. It inspires me to get involved, or at least be informed. I have the desire to be politically involved, moreso than I have before. (Though I unfortunately don't really know where to start.) I believe it's time to believe in government, believe in the power of democracy again.
"I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends toward justice."
Inspiring words from Theodore Parker. Probably my favorite quote of all time.
Because love trumps bummers.
Now here is a picture of Assisi.