Light One Candle

“Life is difficult.”

So begins M. Scott Peck’s bestseller The Road Less Traveled.

And life is indeed difficult at times.  Problems and difficulties are a reality of life.  Look at the economic crisis we’re in, the political machine that seems to be beyond the control of ordinary folk, the threat of terrorism, hunger, poverty, violence, injustice, prejudice and inequality.  The problems seem so varied and so vast that we stand powerless in their wake.  Or perhaps the problems are as close as our own homes.  Difficulty with our partners, infidelity, addictions, busyness, economic hardship, the loss of a job, depression, illness. . . . The list goes on.

In the face of life’s difficulties it is easy to react in one of two ways, or both:  to become paralyzed and to simply complain.

In 1945 Fr. James Keller founded “The Christophers.”  It is an organization who through the printed word and other media give people a word of hope and encourage people to use their gifts to make a positive difference in the world.  What I like about Keller’s philosophy is that he keeps it simple.  His famous words, around which he framed the mission of “The Christophers,” are these:  “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”  Just ONE candle.

In the face of life’s challenges, it is easy to curse the darkness.  AND it is equally easy to light just one candle, to take one little action, to make a positive difference.

What are the difficulties in your life?  In our world?  What is one candle that we can light today that can lighten the darkness?


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