I've been toying with adopting this as a mantra. A little phrase that will capture a bit of truth about living. A little phrase I can repeat to myself again and again. A little phrase that has the power to leave a big impact on the world.
Does it? I keep holding this idea in my hands, turning it over, and trying to get another view of it. Does celebration have the power to save us?
There are moments when life fractures a person. The worst of humanity strikes. A nightmare becomes reality. A diagnosis or a death or a lie steals away the life you knew. The world falls apart and you're not even sure you can breathe, let alone take a step. In these moments, when the world is dark, celebration can feel just plain wrong.
But what if, what if, celebration is actually the thing that saves us.
Celebration isn't always a cupcake.
Celebration doesn't have to be a cheer.
Celebration doesn't mean carefree.
Celebration takes grit. It is not only for the merry and the optimists. Celebration is for every moment of life.
This is the idea I keep wrestling with, I wake up in the middle of the night wondering if it is true, if I can stand up and say Celebrate! even when life is dark.
Christy Rush-Levine faced a dark moment last week when her school went into a soft lock down in response to a community shooting. She writes of her feelings about celebrating in the face of a tragedy. I'd encourage you to first read the news story and then click over to Christy's blog.
It is a must read for every person who wants to make a difference.
In an email to Christy, I wrote:
I'm so sorry to hear this. My heart hurts, and I know your heart does too. There is no way to make sense of the evil and violence. It is a hazard of our world.
I've been struggling with a stance I've been considering. It is this: Celebration Saves. I wonder if it is true. Your writing and your process of filtering the events and finding the gratitude is helping me shift through my beliefs about celebration.
What if you wouldn't have looked for the celebration? What if you would have given up? Chalked up the event to something senseless and sad?
Your celebration is one of true grit. It's not fun. It's not pretty. It's not joyful. But it is still a celebration.
And because you celebrated with grace and honesty, evil does not win. Good triumphs. Your story will lift others to work to make a difference. It takes many to overcome evil. But it begins with one. As you lift your voice, you inspire others to make a difference. It is these moment by moment choices we make that change the world.
I've decided it is true:Celebration Saves.
It resuscitates good. It offers light in the darkness. It restores souls.
It isn't always easy and it might not be comfortable. But it does save. Yes...