Pessimism is Its Own Reward

—or recompense, at least!Digital illustration from photos: Gloom = Doom

Pessimism is Its Own Reward

O Ye Subversive Saints

digital artworkRebels, radicals and reformers of the human superhero type are rare enough that we need to remember them and recognize the astounding things that they have accomplished despite their mortality. In those who–whether born to the task, having climbed to it willfully, or even having pretty much fallen backward into it–manage to effect positive change in the world, we are not only given an example but the encouragement to believe that we can and should attempt our own reforms and renewal, however small. Remembering today the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we are in turn reminded of the activist for whom he was eventually made namesake, Martin Luther, and of all the other agents of change who have marked our history by following, or better yet, setting, such grand examples.digital artwork from a photoThat Dr. King’s life in some surprising ways echoed that of his historic predecessor, from his questioning of not only social norms and civil authority but also the very early challenge he made as an astute youth to the principles of the very faith that later helped shape his determination to work for reforms. This should perhaps be true of each of us in some small degree: that we take it as our birthright and perhaps even our very nature to challenge any sort of thing, small or large, that smacks of injustice, of cruelty, of greed, or any other of the constant failings of humanity, and that we dare to speak out on it, if not act. To do so is best made possible when we know that we tread in the footprints of many who seem to us far mightier than ourselves, but who in their own turns very likely sought out the same comfort and encouragement from their own forebears, as we all must.digital artworkI, for one, am deeply thankful that there have been, and are, so many exemplars whom we can name our guides and helpers in this, because the need is never-ending. Peacemakers and healers and all of those who in their ways both magnificent and minute seek to better the lives of those around them will always be in high demand. May we all show our gratitude by heeding the same call as well as we are able.digital artwork from a photo