Thursday, September 07, 2006
Nazareth Approves Candlelight Vigil for Darfur Victims
Amidst all the controversy over Nazareth's proposed government center, one fellow seemed out of place at last night's borough council meeting. He was a soft-spoken young man, and was the first to rise during last night's courtesy of the floor. He was not there to save the park or to rail against government spending. He instead quietly asked for permission to hold a candlelight vigil in Nazareth's circle tonight between 7:30 and 8:30 PM.
When asked why, his simple answer was that something needs to be done about the genocide in Darfur. Four hundred thousand fellow human beings have been needlessly murdered, and another four million Sudanese are starving. The U.N. has finally authorized peacekeepers, which might stop this senseless slaughter. The vigil will commemorate the victims of this mass murder. People unable to attend the vigil are asked to light a single candle in their windows tonight to remember those who have died.
Council unanimously approved the request. The courtesy and sensitivity they displayed made me forget, if only for a moment, that we really are all on the same side and want what is best. I too often look at things in a simplistic way - council members v. residents, pols v. taxpayers, liberals v. conservatives. I tend to forget that most of us are people of good will even when we have different approaches to a problem. For more on the situation in Darfur, click here.
Thursday Night Update:
I passed up tonight's county council meeting to participate in Nazareth's vigil for the genocide victims of Darfur. It was a small but moving experience. I was especially impressed by the youth and sincerity of these participants.
There will be no big headlines in either paper tomorrow about this tiny vigil. When I made this point to one of the organizers, he smiled and reminded me that Mother Teresa once said, "We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love." This was a group that would consider itself successful if it only reached one person.
It reached me.