I know I’m going back a bit in history but it’s worth it .
During his campaign to become President of the USA, Barack Obama was asked by David Brooks of the New York Times if he had ever read Reinhold Niebuhr. Obama replied that Niebuhr was one of his favorite philosophers. Brooks then asked, “What do you take away from him?’ Obama passionately replied:
“I take away the compelling idea that there’s serious evil in the world, and hardship and pain. And we should be humble and modest in our belief that we can eliminate those things. But we shouldn’t use that as an excuse for cynicism and inaction. I take away the sense we have to make these efforts knowing they are hard, and not swinging from naive idealism to bitter realism.”
I have friends who refuse to read newspapers or watch television. They don’t want to allow the evils of the world to intrude on their lives. That is not me. I read the newspaper. I read about death, cruelty, hatred and violence. Sometimes it’s just a few blocks away and other times it’s on the other side of the world.
And when I read, I remember that every evil is an opportunity for people to come together in a spirit of healing.
I believe that when we look directly at evil and don’t flinch, we see ways to reach out in compassion to comfort those who are wounded, sick and broken. We heal not only those in need but also ourselves.
While I am at times disheartened by the brutality of this world, I am also overwhelmed by the generosity and the love that we are able to show one another. I’m uplifted by those who care for people, animals, nature and our amazing planet in a multitude of ways. Sometimes in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds and sometimes at a great cost and with great hardship.
Ordinary people doing extraordinary work inspire me to do what I can to make my little corner of the world a better place.
You who work so hard to help others inspire me to reach out and do the same.
And that, my friends, is why I am here on Pledging for Change. We are ordinary people inspiring one another to do what we can. That’s why I am an Advocate for Change and love everything that Pledging for Change is doing to help others every day.Thanks to you, I am a better person.”