My friend called me last night saying she was anxious. There was a mass shooting in Las Vegas at a concert she would have loved to attend, Tom Petty (whom she had just seen in concert recently) died, and her dad’s work van had been broken into - all in the same day. Thankfully, her dad’s tools were stashed in the neighbor’s bushes, found, and returned before he even knew they were missing. But what was she supposed to do with all the emotion those events caused?
I told her to watch Ryan Reynolds. Who doesn’t feel better when they watch him? But, specifically, I told her to watch Green Lantern*. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve seen that movie, so forgive me if it’s not the perfect example I see in my mind. But here it goes:
In the movie, the adversary is a big alien that feeds on fear. The more fear he is exposed to, the bigger and more powerful he gets. Green Lantern, our hero and our model, has the ability to create what he can envision with his willpower.
There is a big fear monster in our world today. Negativity, hate, fear, and violence are both a cause and a symptom of this monster.
My best friend can look at yesterday’s events and be consumed by the fear monster, adding to it’s power. Or, she can connect with her spirit and her willpower and spread the light and love that she was born to create in this world.
If you’ve never seen Green Lantern, I won’t wreck the end for you. But just as that alien was affected by a powerful light, so will the fear monster be.
Maybe our outcome won’t be as expedient as in a two hour movie. And there is a time and a place for grief. But every loving smile you give to a stranger, every kind word you say to someone who is down, and every time you model joy for your children, you add to the light.
So what is your choice? Are you going to feed the fear monster or be the light? What ways have you added to the light and love to our world today? Share in the comments below.
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