One of the readers who made a comment to my blog post of August 24th, shared a wonderful quote: “The legend of the two wolves, Hope vs. Despair. Which one wins? The one that you feed.” That is so true and so inspiring. Thank you!!!
I just added some new quotes to my office wall, and moved one of my favorites to where I see it more directly. “One of the deep secrets of Life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others” by Lewis Carroll.
The reader who offered the quote about the wolves referred to the men who recently stopped an armed gunman on a train between Amsterdam and Paris. A man carrying an arsenal of weapons, including a machine gun, boarded the train, and injured three people before 3 American Servicemen and a British teacher stopped him, before anyone else could get injured. Miraculously, no one was killed. And their incredibly bold act of courage saved the lives of countless people on the train. It is shocking, heartbreaking and terrifying that acts of terrorism have now become not part of daily life, but a frequent occurrence: school shootings, shootings in public places, homemade bombs, suicide bombers due to mental illness or politics. Every time we go to large public gatherings, or even just go out to buy groceries, go to school, or take a trip we are facing the very real possibility that something unexpected and dangerous could happen. We can’t worry about it constantly, or hide at home, but the possibility is very real. The Boston Marathon, the attacks in Paris, shootings at Universities and even at elementary schools. It is becoming increasingly frequent, and alarming. One of the US Servicemen from the train said not to simply stand by and watch it happen, but to do something when it does. I cannot imagine having the courage to do that, and yet people become heroes every day when they step in and step up and save others. I cannot even imagine the sheer guts it must take to do that, the bravery and selflessness. Those who acted on that train were decorated three days later as heroes to whom the French government was grateful.
We all try to perform acts of kindness every day—-but to save a life? Few of us will ever do that in our lifetimes.
There is a saying in the Talmud that I have quoted in my books: “To save one life is to save a world entire.” The brave people on the train who acted to stop the gunman saved many lives. And perhaps even more in future if by their example others will attempt to stop acts of wanton destruction of human life.
For those of us who are not as brave or heroic, to act well, to be kind, to be honest, to protect those weaker than we are, to stand up against injustice, to protect the helpless, to speak out against wrong doing or the bullying or persecution of another human being, to stand beside those who have no one to defend them——these are things we can do without facing an armed gunman, but will make this a better world. Mother Theresa said that “we cannot do big things, we can only do small things with an immense amount of love.” Perhaps we can all be heroes in some small way in our daily lives, and inspire others to do the same. If we are brave in our hearts, maybe we will become braver in our acts. Even one small act of kindness for another human being. May we feed the wolf of Hope, and not the wolf of despair which leads to crimes of inhumanity against others……..May you be safe and protected!! And remember to feed the wolf of Hope. Have a good week,