This time of year is the season of miracles–for though religious faith might not settle in all hearts–the ground hardens in most of the world, snow falls but still we believe in the miracle of spring, growth and rebirth. People bond and have children and believe that the child born to them will thrive. This is human nature. This is casting aside FEAR for belief in life–the sun rising each day and life continuing.
Because every day we need to find a small miracle to believe in–the smiles of our children and grandchildren, the love of a pet, the miracle of an increase in a paycheck. Karl Rahner wrote: “I don’t believe in miracles, I rely on them to get through each day!” And William Falk writes in THE WEEK as he warns against becoming neurotic, paranoid and unhinged: “It’s Not All Bad. Let’s all lighten up. A fresh new year beckons. The sky is not falling.”
THE TEDDY AWARDS
Joe Klein in TIME recently quoted Teddy Roosevelt who praised the doer–and not the critic of the doer. Roosevelt said:”The credit belongs to the man (or woman) who is actually in the arena…who spends himself in a worthy cause; who …in the end knows the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”
Klein presented what he calls THE TEDDY AWARDS to those who fit the above definition. Here are a few of the winners with a brief description from Klein.
- President Obama: who sang AMAZING GRACE in the midst of his lovely eulogy for the Charleston churchgoers, which was the emotional highlight of the year, and of his presidency. Thanks, Mr. President. We needed that.
- Vice President Joe Biden: who had a terrible year, given the loss of his son, but he showed grace and a somber humanity–the sort of humanity often trampled at the intersection of public and private life.
- George H. W. Bush, whose good words were revisited in Jon Meacham’s essential biography. Bush the elder remains an exemplar of civility in office, especially in the arena of foreign policy, where he remade Europe and reunited Germany after the Cold War by refusing to rub Russia’s nose in its defeat. Now that was a reset.
- John Kasich, a contender for the GOP nomination, for his sanity and willingness, finally, to fight the rancid hate-mongering that threatened (and still does) to rot his party.
- And finally, a Teddy to all the diplomats out there (Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton included by me!) John Kerry, Mohammad Javad Zarif, representative from Iran to the U.N., and to the unsung Americans toiling everywhere from Baghdad to the U.N. Because being politically correct in some cases is diplomacy. And diplomacy counts because words are never forgotten. Saying the correct word can mean the difference between talks that lead to peace and talks that lead to war.
Klein ends his piece by referencing President Bill Clinton, “who once said, diplomats are the exact opposite of terrorists. They struggle for peace, against all odds, in a world that seems to want only war.”
And so during this season when many of us are drawn to spiritual rebirth–fight against fear with hope and with knowledge. Seek to dig up the truth and don’t be led like a dumb lamb to the slaughter because of frightening words and images of hate. Madeleine Albright said:
“The magic of America is that we’re a free and open society with a mixed population. Part of our security is our freedom.”
Fear can blind one to the truth. Fear is a close companion of hate.
“A leader who sows confidence will reap excellency and legacy. A leader who sows fear will reap stagnancy or complacency.”
― Israelmore Ayivor, Leaders’ Ladder
Marie Curie, noted thinker and scientist said it best: “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
Thanks to: www.dailypainters.com and to fineartamerica.com