Sometimes the genesis of a story is the story itself.
Such is the case in this space this week.
Originally, this was supposed to be a piece about hope, faith and daring to dream big dreams. I wanted to talk about the “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” letter written more than a century ago and how the magic of the season doesn’t live only in one red-suited man, but in all of us.
I thought about scrapping the piece when the horrible incident occurred Dec. 14 in Newtown, Conn., in which a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children. It didn’t seem such as a good time to discuss things like hope, faith and daring to dream big dreams when there seemed to no reason for them.
But I decided to write about them anyway.
We definitely need all of those qualities now.
For even when there’s such a strong temptation to just give up and give in, that’s the last thing we can do. That would signal defeat.
If we want to control this and eventually stop it, we have to fight back. Not with our fists, but with our mindset: hope, faith and daring to dream big dreams. We need all of that because we’re up against a strong foe that seems to get stronger with each blink of the eye.
Hate is mighty. It won’t go down easily or quietly. We need to understand what we’re up against.
We can’t bring back the victims of the tragedy. But we can fight like crazy against something like that happening again. It’s all we have. It’s all we can do.
We grieve for those who were lost, but in the same breath, we point to the fact that it happened hundreds of miles away.
Or did it? If it happened there, it could happen here.
We open the door for that evil by being less than vigilant in our hope, faith and daring to dream big dreams. While not striving to be the best we can be, we allow ourselves to settle for second-best. That includes making sure everyone, including children, has a safe, happy and healthy environment in which to live and grow and prosper.
You can’t do that by surrendering and believing there’s nothing we can do except shake our heads in disbelief at how bad things are.
But you know what? Things will get even worse if we let them.
Hope, faith and daring to dream big dreams? You bet. That’s all we have, especially at this time of year, when the enemy is trying to convince us that those things don’t exist.
Page 2 of 2 - As “New York Sun” Editor Frank Church wrote to 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon in 1908 about her question regarding the validity of Santa, “Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world, there is nothing else real and abiding.”
He was right on target, and, thankfully, he still is.