"There is so much pain and death in our times. This is not an easy time to be a person of conscience and feeling. It can be terribly hard today to stay in touch with your deep soul. It can seem all but impossible to keep your love alive. The world has a way of blowing relentless hurricane winds at our little flickering candles of faith.
This is what I have to say at this time in history. I stand here in the face of the anguish of our time, and I affirm that it is possible to see it all, to gaze fully into the abyss, and yet not become bitter and broken.
I stand for this. We are not here to be defeated. Our hopes are not empty vessels holding no truth. I stand for this. Our dreams and prayers are rooted in something greater than the forces of death.
I stand for this. Our despair and fury at the world’s brutalities are part of our awakening. There is something mysterious taking place in this world that is part of our healing.
I stand for this. This world is not a tragic and terrible mistake. With all its flaws, it is still a sacred path to our destiny as human beings. There is horror and agony here, yes, and it can be overwhelming. But there are also infinite opportunities for new life, beauty, and the learnings of love.
Bitter winds are howling. Let them howl. We can shelter each other and put our little flames together. Maybe then we will find ourselves better able to face adversity. Maybe then we will find that the pain we feared would destroy us rather brings us back to what gives us life.
I stand for this. There are sources of joy here, and we are here to protect them and cherish them.
I stand for this. If we meet the world with eyes that do not flinch and hearts that are open, we will find ourselves capable of what is asked of us.
I stand for this. We who are alive, with breath in our bodies and love in our hearts, have much to be thankful for.
I stand for this. In our connection with each other we are more than strong and brave. We are humble enough to be human in this world."