Filling moments of silence

As a society, we continue to move forward from the tragedy in Tuscon with continued prayer for Representative Giffords recovery and noting lessons learned.  In this vein, I’d like to share with you a post that has meant a lot to me by my colleague and mentor, Russ Gerber:

When tragedy strikes, as it did in Tucson, and we’re invited to a moment of silence, it’s an opportunity for contemplation, prayer or to pay honor to the victims and their families.

We all know the appropriateness of such moments, but may not have given much thought to what we can do during them, or what we can accomplish with them.  Should we expect more from those moments than mere silence?  Can any meaningful change or empowerment or growth take place?

It’s easy to be skeptical.  After all, it’s just a moment, and we’re just ordinary people who don’t have much power to accomplish grand things.

And yet, isn’t that selling ourselves terribly short?  Is this, instead, an opportunity to do great things?

In a moment of silence we can confront skepticism.  We can rebel against the notion that, even in times of great sadness, we are powerless to rise and to right wrongs.  It is always possible to resist the delusion that we’re incapable of changing our world for the better.

In a moment of silence we can awaken to the mighty mental and spiritual forces that influence people every day to do what’s right and to exceed their ordinary capacities.

In a moment of silence we can shake the seemingly unshakable feeling that nothing will ever change by seeing it as the lie that it is.  The fact is we all have access to grand, illuminating, burden-breaking ideas, and that access is not limited by circumstances or time or inexperience.  There is no worthy idea we cannot have, no worthy idea we cannot commit to.

So when circumstances would make us feel defeated, we should remember what history has shown us: that a lifetime filled with great accomplishments for mankind, of conquering fear and having extraordinary victories over what most people believed was impossible, was the result of honoring the powerful ideas that came in silent moments.

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