In my course of writing for newspapers, I note that I would receive more compliments on articles that bring out the social problems. In articles that bring out the good of personalities, I would almost always receive some emails telling me that there are many other better than the personalities that I have featured.
I confess that I have been quite disturbed by such comments. I begin to think our society is ill. We seem not being able to accept the good of others.
I have come to the point of considering giving up writing! Today, Steve Goodier seems to have given me a reason to go on writing. Here it is,
Driving Away the Shadows
When Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. on April 14, 1865, he was carrying two pairs of spectacles and a lens polisher, a pocketknife, a watch fob, a linen handkerchief, and a brown leather wallet containing a five-dollar Confederate note and several newspaper clippings on the Lincoln presidency.
Why did he keep the newspaper clippings? Some of them extol his achievements as president of the United States. In one, Henry Ward Beecher is quoted in a speech as saying, “Abraham Lincoln may be a great deal less testy and wilful (sic) than Andrew Jackson, but in the long race, I do not know that he will be equal to him.” The reporter
then writes, “The storm of applause that followed this seemed as if it
would never cease.”
Why would he carry such a clipping? If we know anything about Lincoln, we know that humility was one of his most attractive virtues. I can’t imagine that he read from the article during political discussions or entertained dinner guests with its keen insight.
I do not know the answer to these questions. But I am aware that Abraham Lincoln suffered from bouts of serious depression. Could it be that in those “dark nights of the soul,” when despair settled over his mind like a cold and heavy snow, that he could reach into his pocket and find hope? Could it be that these words reminded him of what he had dedicated his life to, the good he had tried to do and the lives he had affected?
Francis of Assisi once said, “A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.” We are all collectors of sunbeams. We may have saved away letters and mementos that warm our hearts and encourage us when we need a lift.
And we can all be radiators of sunbeams, too. A letter, card or note of sincere appreciation can drive away dark shadows like nothing else.
Will you be giver of the light?
— Steve Goodier
P/S Many friends are just a SMS away! I have been lifted by many SMSes sent by friends with the right message at the right time! I have been taking that as God’s little whispers to me. I have also started sending out some SMSes at the beginning of the day. Today, I sent this message out to five people,
Days are many..hours are too busy but there is always a time for me to say Jesus Loves You. Great day and let go and let GOD.
One of them responded this way –
Thanks for the inspired message. I really need it today.