I get by with a little help from my friends.
And right now, I’m reaching out to so many, in so many ways.
Let’s start with the Beatles. Interpret the song however you want. To me, it’s YOU and YOU and YOU. The friends who remind me I’m not alone. I can call on you when I need a friend. A hundred songs about friends and friendships, and they all help remind me of our connection.
It’s Important. Maybe now more than ever.
I don’t have to name the hurricanes, forest fires, smoky air, airwaves full of static, streets full of anger, masks and misinformation. We are in the midst of chaos.
Looking for quotes for a project I’m working on, I came across this from Albert Camus:
In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that…
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.
Another friend to the rescue. Reminding me to look deep within. Deeper within. Deeper still.
Another form of the St. Francis prayer perhaps: Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. But sometimes I don’t think I have it in me. I can’t find it easily. Camus tells me he found it even in the midst of hate, tears, chaos, winter.
Maybe the reason I grab on to quotes and song lyrics is they let me know someone else has been where I am. Even if they’re stuck where I am, their words describe it so well I know someone knows me. And if they’ve found their way through, their words reach back like a hand to pull me through.
I need songs right now, the ones that speak to my heart, get stuck in my ear, repeat lines like “you’ve got a friend” or “I get by with a little help.” So many songs, but these are the ones playing in my head today.
I need quotes like this one from Camus that makes me look deep within to see if maybe there’s that strength in me. Somewhere. There’s a calm within the chaos, a love within the hate. There’s hope within the turmoil. Look deep within. Look deeper.
Camus’ writing might have been enough, but last night we watched a movie that drove it home in another way. Particularly for another of the storms raging across the country. The movie was The Help, a gut-wrenching look at the life of Black maids serving White families in the early ‘60’s in Mississippi.
I found so many examples of love within hatred, calm within chaos, smiles within tears. There is a scene where the Black maid is face to face with the 3-year-old White child she has cared for and loved since birth. She’s being torn away from the child and is reminding her one last time: You is smart. You is kind. You is important.
How do you do that? Give so much care to the children of the people who are seeing you as less than? But that’s my point. In the midst of hate, tears, chaos, she did.
In the midst of hate, tears, chaos, I need to look deep within me and see the possibilities, the love, the calm. I repeat the mantra: I am smart, I am kind, I am important.
And so are YOU and YOU and YOU.
What we do, how we react, how we are in the world matters.
…no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.
That makes me hopeful.