“There’s some good in this world, Mister Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”
– Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
One really wants these “milestone” quotes to be something special, ya know? And I don’t think I could ask for one better, or more timely, than this.
This is the point of Sam’s hopeful speech, right at the resolving climax of the film and a highlight of the entire trilogy. As the enemy encroaches, seemingly unstoppable, Sam barely saves Frodo and the One Ring from being carried away by a black rider on a winged beast. The Ring is wearing on Frodo’s mind and heart and spirit, and so on his body as well, and he is… well, overwhelmed. He doesn’t think he can do this task, so Sam talks about why they need to endure. All is not despair, there is hope for a clear, new day, and the heroes in the stories they tell show, by example, that good can triumph. Indeed, it does triumph, as people fight for it.
But fights, by very nature, tend not to be easy. No, they are long, and costly, and painful. There is loss, and suffering of every kind, in the fight for what is right. It is enough to make anyone falter at some point, whether they’re fainthearted or not.
During the low moments, those filled with darkness, despair, fear, and everything else unsavory to endure, one must remember the value of what one fights for. That is our guiding light, our strength, and we need it most especially when we are in the abyss.
Or when we are entering the abyss, which, I fear we still are. Yes, after all the bad that has happened this year, I fear that there is so much more and worse to come, and soon.
So now, as we enter the dark, now is the time to grip tight to our light, to whatever good we have and dream of ever having, and keep it close in our hearts.
What is my light?
My certainty that there will always be something good to be found.
Many see the world as ugly and terrible, and there is much truth to that. There are horrible things, and terrible things, and sad things all around us, and within our own lives. Those things are not going to go away. But that is not, and never will be, all there is to the world.
There are good things. Happy things. Beautiful things. Wondrous things. Things which heal and help and shelter and build. Things which teach and inspire. Things which offer hope, love, peace, and mercy. Things which shine upon our lives and will transform misery into joy, if we allow it. Family. Laughter. Friends. Community. Good food. Lessons learned. Moments of calm and quiet, and moments of uproarious activity. Patience. Diligence. Hard work. Responsibility. Unyielding resolve in the face of adversity. Passion. Music. Beauty. Talents, refined into skills. Games. Fun. Memories. Legacies of those who came before, and which we can continue. Freedom.
There is, I would say, much good to be found in this world.
And it is worth fighting for.
Fighting to protect, to nourish, to build, to create, to enhance, and to remember.