In my heart I am dedicated to the effort of pushing back the darkness, or at least holding it at bay. By darkness I don’t mean some kind of ultimate evil that’s at war with the light. I only mean all the subtle and not-so-subtle ills that afflict the world at the hands of humankind. Some are the result of deliberate, willful, cynical actions; some are unintentional or even unwitting. I mean all the products of ignorance, intolerance, and indifference. Of self-importance, selfishness, and greed. Of fear and hatred and misunderstanding. Of any other negative conditions or motivations that I have, for the moment, forgotten. I say “effort” because that’s all any one heart can promise. The dark tide seems so strong sometimes, so big, and what any one person can do alone so small. Some people have strong arms and hands and backs to work with. Others have the courage and charisma to stand up in front of groups and lead them. Mostly what I have is words. I can send them out into the darkness in the hope that they may touch other hearts. I believe there is hope if we work together.