Monday, December 22, 2014

Valuing Everything Bright and Hopeful

I can’t stop reading the news lately. All the senseless deaths, all the bitter words, all the threats.

I find myself obsessed, and mesmerized, by black-and-white words on electronic screens and in newsprint.

Is the world really spiraling out of control?

Earlier this morning, I was looking through recent photos on my cell phone, intending to post something on Twitter (despite everything, you have to keep up appearances, right?) when I noticed all the bright colors surrounding me.

I felt as if I had been suddenly snapped out of hypnosis.

Even in the photos I took at work — an interconnected hive of office space neighboring a vast tract of New Jersey swampland — I saw signs of hope.

There’s a Christmas tree with dozens of donated toys. There are otherwise bland cubicles strung with holiday lights. There’s the stuffed lion wearing a Penn State sweater I bought for our Secret Santa swap, and the miniature gold Notre Dame helmet I received in return.

As I continued to flip through the photos, I was astounded by all the beauty.

There are the smiling faces at the dinner with colleagues from work, and photos of festive Morristown Green outside… the first gathering of friends from my daughter’s barn… the warm hospitality of our end-of-year IABC-NJ board meeting… houses decorated with lights… gift-wrapped packages… photos of family members coming home… my wife with her arm around our daughter, wearing a red dress, before they left yesterday on their annual outing to see “The Nutcracker.”

I value all the people who shine so brightly, and I am grateful for all the colors that surround me. They fill me with hope and inspiration and light, even in the world’s darkest hours.

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