“Tá mo chroí istigh ionat.” – “My heart is within you.” (Gaelic)
Last weekend, my nephew and his fiancée were married. Their wedding was a wonderful blend of old and new. Ancient ceremonies and self-written vows. Traditional dances and modern songs. A 250-year old inn and videos taken by aerial drones.
Of course, at the center of the weekend was the oldest of emotions – love. Two people publicly committing to love and support each other for the rest of their lives. Family and friends sharing in that special moment.
The ceremony and the happy couple represent more than just a display of love for those in attendance. They represent the power that love can bring to our lives. That we can overcome the negativity and pessimism that seems more pervasive than ever before.
There’s probably the same percentage of gloomy people as there always has been. It’s just that with the power of social media, they’re able to spread their demoralizing outlook with greater efficiency than in the past.
Scroll through your social media platform of choice. Count the number of people who are posting complaints about the traffic, their family, their job – their lives. Sometimes, it appears that folks go out of their way to find a meme that expresses outrage – over the most trivial of subjects.
With an election year upon us, both sides attempt to outdo the other with cartoonish digs at the other. Some are personal, some are racist, some are sexist, and some display a level of bigotry that would make Archie Bunker blush. None are helpful.
At the same time, the rest of the news can be just as demoralizing. Wildfires killing billions of animals in Australia. Hurricanes and the earthquakes causing devastation in Puerto Rico. A polluted globe becoming more polluted causing seemingly insurmountable challenges for generations to come.
And that’s just the front page.
In the face of these ordeals, we must reject the negativity. We must face the problems with realistic optimism that we will prevail. Hope, not despair, is the way forward.
This is why moments like Jared and Kristen’s wedding are so important. They are reminders that in the midst of all that causes us fear, or dismay, or pain – there is love. There is love so great that two people will commit to spending their lives together.
There is love so great that people will bring a new life into the world. There is love so great that people will become foster parents or adoptive parents. There is love so great, that people will risk their lives for the sake of a stranger.
There is love.
And where there is love, there is hope.