Time to Foster Change

The Inner Light Within Us All Deserves To Shine

The Inner Light

The reason I feel so guided to speak on behalf of at-risk children, actually, make that all children, is because I know how it feels to be overcome with such a sense of utter helplessness. In fact, I think we all do if we were to be completely honest with ourselves. Sometime during our life, some person, some entity, or some event caused us to lose grip of our true self. I don’t care what type of background you may come from or how you were raised, it is very difficult for one to escape this reality. This is because, as human beings, we are innately imperfect. We humans have some serious issues when it comes to accepting our own faults and inadequacies so what do we do? We project, we gaslight, we control, and by doing so we not only neglect the obligation to work on ourselves, we ultimately dim another’s light in the process. A great many of us spend a significant chunk of our lives carrying around “stuff” that wasn’t ours to begin with. It was projected upon us by our parents, family, friends, community, church, societal norms, political sway, and various other influences that had absolutely nothing to do with our authentic selves. It took me until middle age to figure this out. After countless years of introspection and self discovery I was finally able to locate the real me, the true version of who I was meant to be free from others’ erroneous opinions, projections, choices, actions, and decisions. It took everything I had to quiet all the rhetoric I had received throughout my life from those who refused to address their own dysfunctional issues. I believe without question that all seven billion of us who find ourselves here and now have entered this life with a purpose. That each and everyone one of us was meant to shine their light for the greater good. However, our humanness always seems to get in the way and many times this light barely seeps through or is snuffed out completely. There will always be those for whatever reason, be it insecurity, selfishness, narcissism, ignorance (I could go on forever with the adjectives here) who are willing to diminish another’s self worth. The belief that we do matter is a capability that lies within all of us. But, in order to wield this power we must find the strength to break the chains that bind us. If and when this ever occurs it will become almost impossible for anyone or anything to extinguish our flame. That is why I find it so important to protect the self worth of those who fall into vulnerable circumstances, which in most cases are children. Children are extremely fragile beings and it’s vital that we keep what little light that may be left from being blown out forever.

I had a relatively “normal” childhood. My parents weren’t physically abusive and deep down I know they did the best they could with the abilities they had. Nevertheless, I still experienced the emotional and mental baggage that they and others within my universe felt compelled to dump upon me. Just like billions of others around the globe, I lost

myself along the way because I took responsibility for others’ issues. Now…if such a thing can happen to someone like you and me just imagine what life has in store for those children who face devastating abuse and neglect. What chance do you think these kids have in ever being able to find their inner light? What about the child who incubates in a cloud of opiates before ever taking their first breath? Trust me when I say they too will have trouble shining their light without assistance from those who understand their struggle. Each one of these children deserve to shine. Whether they get that chance will depend on us…the ones that care enough to see that they are given that opportunity. If we don’t protect the light inside them, who will?

The other day while on a walk I was listening to some music when the song “The Sound of Silence” played. I have always loved this song, but this time the words just pierced my soul. I realized it wasn’t just people that took away others’ ability to shine, it was political groups and governments as well. I can’t help but notice what is transpiring in our world at this very moment. Russia’s attempt to decimate Ukraine and the innocents who reside there. In the meantime, it’s destroying the soul of its own people because I, for one, do not associate the will of Russian citizens with that of its leader or its government. In one act of aggression, millions of lives have been affected. For what? We don’t even need to cross oceans to find this type of abuse. Look at America. So many of our current political leaders are sitting in very powerful positions who are so out of touch with mainstream society. Every day that goes by another light goes out. In the song, “The Sound of Silence” you will hear the words…

And in the naked light, I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never shared No one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

“Fools”, said I, “You do not know Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you Take my arms that I might reach you” But my words like silent raindrops fell And echoed in the wells of silence

I can’t listen to this song and not think about our current political situation. People talking without speaking. People hearing without listening. People writing “opinions” that

voices never shared. We cannot allow these words to fall like silent raindrops. We must react. Because just as the song suggests, silence like a cancer grows. We cannot continue to allow those with biased agendas to remain in powerful positions to further harm this country. We can’t keep silent. No one person, no one government, no one political system, nothing and nobody, should have free reign to cause undesirable outcomes that hundreds of millions of people have to endure when clearly this is not what is wanted. Just like a person, a country can find its light beginning to diminish. And just like a person strength must be found to break those chains that suffocate its light source.

I apologize in advance to Simon and Garfunkel for messing with the lyrics of such a beautiful and moving song. I still find its powerful message relevant today. I get chills every time I hear it. The moment I heard it the other day I knew what I had to write about. Thank you for the inspiration.