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Be the light.

Evil is not new. Bad things have happened to people as long as people have existed. But for something so evil to happen to children the same age as mine in a town in my own country – that’s kind of new to me. And I’m struggling.

I feel like evil = bad compounded over time. I’m probably not going to find the data to back up my theory. But I feel that the best way to battle this evil that has transpired, that has been put out there, that has changed the lives of so many… is to be good. I mean really good. I mean our very best selves.

My six year old daughter stated the other day that the good guy always wins in movies. Let’s be the good guy and let the good guys win in real life, too. Let’s let so much light shine from us that we dwarf the evil and the badness. Whether you identify yourself as Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, atheist, whatever you may believe about our existence: believe in goodness. Believe in the best. Let that light shine through you to every person and every thing you encounter.

No problem, you may say, but is it? What about when someone cuts you off in traffic? What about when its easy to make fun of someone you don’t know and will never meet? What about when you call someone a name in anger, even if they can’t hear you? What about when you hold on to anger and resentment and do not forgive?

What happens when we let these dark places in our hearts and minds grow bigger than the light?

It’s not always easy to let the light be bigger than the darkness. As humans, we have many ways of helping us to this goal. Religion and spirituality help many. Others may focus on energy and nature. Yet others simply choose to stay on the side of the light – this is the important part. Whatever method you use, you must choose to focus on the light. Choose goodness. You have to do it on purpose and for a purpose because it takes a deliberate effort and is often harder to focus on the light than to let the darkness win.

A friend of ours and a pastor at the church where my children were baptized has a great post called “26 Ways to Be the Light of Jesus” that you can read for some simple ways to let the light shine through. There is now a growing social media movement about performing 26 Acts of Kindness. Here is an article with more information about the initial tweet from Ann Curry about the #26Acts movement. The movement also has a Facebook page now.

There is also a lot of discussion as to whether we should be citing the number 26 or the number 28 when referencing the victims in Newtown, CT. I don’t think it is important to decide if we do 26, 28, 52, or 104 “acts of kindness” — let’s instead make it part of our regular behavior. Goodness needs to be included in our everyday lives in order to make a difference. We can’t just check off 26 items on a list and then be done with it.

Let the light shine through. Help the good guys win. For my children. For your children. For all of the people in the world who have been victims of evil.