The Good Worth Fighting For

“When I despair, I remember that all through history
the way of truth and love have always won.
There have been tyrants and murderers,
and for a time, they can seem invincible,
but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

I’m sure that most people have heard about the acts of terror in Paris, Kenya, Baghdad, and Beirut, in addition to the disasters of Mexico and Japan. It can be very easy to lose hope, to despair, to become overcome with hatred. We can cower in fear. We can view these times of tragedy as an excuse to go to war or to discriminate against different groups. We can toss around blame and displace anger from one group to another.

But we cannot let that happen. Dictionary.com defines terrorism as “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce.” If we do what I mentioned above, we let them win. They want us to be scared. They want us to respond with violence, so that they themselves could be justified in their use of violence. By allowing ourselves to fall into despair and hatred, we give terrorists the power that they desire. We are letting them get exactly what they want. I feel like it would be fairly universal desire to keep power away from terrorists; we don’t want them to win. We have the power to keep them from winning. Yes, they might continue in their violent and horrific acts, and we must seek to stop that, but as Gandhi said in the above quote, there have always been tyrants and murderers, but they are always defeated by truth and love.

The Shadow, darkness, evil – whatever you call it – does not have power to defeat the good. There is good in this world. No matter how dark the world gets, the light will never be extinguished. As long as we continue to hold onto the light and the good that is still present in this world, darkness will never have chance. We must hold true to the words of our dear Samwise Gamgee: there is good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for! That doesn’t necessarily mean taking up arms and going to battle for the good. But it does mean holding on to hope, truth, beauty, love, for the sake of the good. Things will happen in our lives that will make us fall into darkness. But we must continue to fight the good fight, to keep the light alive in ourselves and in the world. We must do what we can to keep good forever in this world. Terrorists may steal, and slaughter, and destroy, but they cannot take away the light and hope that is within us. Only we can rid ourselves of that.

Additionally, I read a story (below) about a woman who was out having a good time during one of the attacks. She had to lay on the ground for a long time,

acting like she was dead, in order to not be killed. She witnessed the deaths of many that night. And yet, what did she think about? She thought about her loved ones, hoping that someday she will see them again. She thought about all the good from her life. She thought about and appreciated all of the good. So many people sought to help in seemingly minor ways, but those ways were the biggest helps of all. They helped the woman see that there is still good in this world. We can easily get bogged down by every horrific act done in this world. There are a lot, so good luck with that. Or we can allow ourselves to be encouraged by the evil to live even more for the good. The rampant evil in the world is evidence for our need to continually fight for the good. Maybe someone else will do it. But no one can fill your place in this world. No one can replace the good that you are called to do, the good that you can and should be doing in this world. Evil evermore encourages us to do and to hold onto the good, but that’s only if we allow it to do just that.

“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tower
high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while.
The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land,
and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold,
the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing:
there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”

-Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

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Duc In Altum

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