Tuesday, December 24, 2013

NRU the light and the dark -- heavy on silver linings

I couldn't really bring myself to post something for the anniversary of Newtown.  I was heartened to hear that the news media was abiding by the city's wish to be left alone.  But then there were these stories ... some that moms and dads self published and some that were offered via NPR.  This story was particularly lovely -- I have been trying to take her message to heart as my eyes leak and my heart continues to break.  I particularly loved what she had to say about language -- and I am so glad she lit all 28 candles.  This family reminds me that there are those of us with the compassion necessary to turn tragedy to hope.  If only we could all harness these sentiments -- to harness our pain into hope that engenders innovating for peace.

And one more Newtown entry:  a rabbi giving a cure for hatred -- loving kindness.

StoryCorps hit a homerun again with this one -- siblings talking about how a baby saved a family from darkness.  There is hope ... we can change.  We have the ability to aspire to better and to make it real.

In a special Christmas miracle, same sex marriages go forward in Utah -- may be all be very happy!

Before we turn to the dark, my favorite Christmas story is this one about a family reaching out to those with less.  It demonstrates several key ideas: 1) those with the least are often the most generous, 2) working together as a family can be very powerful, and 3) for every story about delinquent immigrants, there are probably five like this.  Thank goodness for people who help others. 

I struggled with where to put this story -- it is heartbreaking and soul affirming at the same time.  The strength and love these parents find in their faith is truly inspiring.  But having so recently lost people dear to me, my heart also breaks for the man's wife and son.  I hope that those who killed this man and wounded his wife are brought to justice, but I also hope that his parents will be there to forgive the killers as well.  The Mennonite pastor asked those at the funeral for prayers for the killers "in hopes they'll come to understand the wrong they have done and experience a transformation in their thinking and their lives."  We have a lot to learn about life from forgiveness.

And then the dark ... this story broke my heart over and over -- how sloppiness and disregard did not just ruin one life - but allowed one person to ruin the lives of two other families.  The chances to stop this tragedy abounded -- and were disregarded.  When will we wake up?

The elected officials of this country continue to demonstrate the darkness in their hearts -- lowering the payments to those in need for food.  Clearly, they do not understand how the funds are used -- and what they can be used for.  NPR has been doing some reporting on what it's like to be poor in the US, I guess, just in time for Christmas.   This one was particularly poignant as it juxtaposes a part-time janitor's struggle to support his family with the splendor of his employer, Google.

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