I still believe in the laughter of children. Bouncing through the neighborhood in the dull summer afternoon heat, a whisper of hope swells in the sun. Children live in a perpetual sense of expectancy. They remember what we have long forgotten. They move and breathe and play with promise cupped carefully in the palms of their hands. A single fire fly illuminating its five finger house at dusk.
I still believe in the kindness of strangers. The commonality of shared experience. Grace showing out in the face of the worst of the human condition. I still believe in those who stand in line for hours to donate blood. Those who comfort the broken. Rescue the injured. Share their sandwiches. Bandage wounds. I still believe in the surgeon’s skill and the policeman’s courage. Brilliant luminescence against a backdrop of terror.
I still believe in the future. That there is one. I still believe that our salvation is found on bended knee, emptied of vainglory and affectation. I still believe that life is best lived in search of something beyond ourselves, inscrutable and incomprehensible. I still believe in truth. Absolute and infinite. No work of man can sway its immutable judgment. For truth was never the work of man in the first place.
I still believe that change starts in the mirror. There will always be those who pontificate in perfect pitch, but our values best not be shaped in the wake of their words. I believe we must, more than ever, do more than listen to talking heads and political puppet masters. We must do more than share our opinions on social media, even this one. We must do more than press like or love. We must do. Often and always. I believe in baking pies, sharing dinners, glasses clinking together in goodwill. I believe in a real hand reaching out to another real hand in a gesture of honest friendship. I believe in eye contact and a trusted name. I still believe, that our voices, however puny, can repudiate evil and chase the darkness to the corners of our existence.
I still believe. Because I have to. Someone is counting on me . . . on us to get this done. They look into our faces of disbelief and horror as we watch the work of madness, and they search for sanctuary. They hear the panic in our voices as we talk about the lack of viable candidates, threats of imminent terror and spiraling debt, and they wonder what this all means. They are our children, happily running through sprinklers and drinking from the rivers of perpetual innocence. They don’t have much longer until they discover we have failed them. They have not deserved our indiscretions, but they are inheriting them. Now is the time. Today. Find your real voice. Rest in a real hope. Reach out to a real person. Pour yourself out. And remember to still believe.