In Spite Of

Why now?

I’ve been wanting to start up my blog again. But had to waffle for awhile about whether its title–“my second freshman year”–still applied a year later.

I decided it did: who’s to say when I’ve ”gathered enough credits,” so to speak?

Just when I’d resolved that, Paris happened. And I felt the need for silence. First, out of a kind of respect. Then out of a sense of overwhelm. How on earth to respond to that?

Which eventually translated into ‘what is the point of posting a tiny blog about small doings when there’s so much big stuff happening out there?’eifel tower

Then I read a Facebook post by a friend from my decades-ago FIRST freshman/sophomore years at Harvard. A summary doesn’t do it justice, so here it is:

“I spent a lot of my birthday yesterday reflecting upon the violence in Paris the prior evening – its impact on lives, and the implications for our future. Like so many others, I searched for reasons to believe that we will reverse the current trajectory toward more of the same. (I’m still working on that.) But I was lucky yesterday. In the face of this horrific reminder that our lives can be taken at any moment and anywhere, I received birthday wishes all day long from friends who reminded me of my belief that love is what we are here for and just how rich I am in it. Thank you my Friends, who live with me in the One Percent of the love distribution, for all the love you have thrown in my direction. We have got to figure out more ways to spread it.”

That post reminded me that it is the small things of our lives that make up life. Which most matter: cooking that Thanksgiving turkey, greeting a harried checker at Walmart, contacting a friend to wish him or her well on the birthday or any other day.

That’s one way we fight the fear and confusion and cycle of hatred that terrorism creates.

To quote someone I WISH I’d known during my first freshman year, Mother Teresa, “None of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”



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