It’s the absence that makes the heart grow fonder

Light and dark

Heat and cold

Sound and silence

Space and vacuum

Love and hate

Actually, our physical bodies can only register the absence of something. Think about that.

If we were constantly immersed in water we would not know it until we stepped out of it onto land, all it would take was a split second. Humans as a default are designed only to observe the anomaly. My ears ring, there is a constant high-pitched hum that rings and for the longest time, I never noticed it until one day during meditation it stopped. I felt peaceful and calm. Then I heard it again. Even now I only know of it when it stops. The silence is so overwhelming that I prefer it not to subside. For the longest time, I thought this was normal until I read about the ringing in the ears and understood why it might be maddening for some.

There is no darkness just an absence of light. There are fish in the deep that are blind because they have no receptors for light. Kind of like us humans, when fed with hate we have no understanding of love never having experienced it. Though many claim that hate is just convoluted love and not necessarily an absence of it.

When staring out at a land ravaged by a snowstorm one would be fooled to believe that it is the cold that engulfs the land but actually it the absence of heat. Winters come because the earth turns away from the burning sun.

When we see our world filled with anxiety, hate, rebellion know that love has left and kindness disappeared. We need to bring back love and kindness not fill it with more hate for the haters and the evildoers. We need to turn the land back to face the warmth of love and acceptance. Fighting for peace will only bring more war. More have been killed and tortured in the name of religion and righteousness than true love.

If you see pain, hurt, and despair know that love is missing and it needs to be brought in. Exactly what Harriet Glickman a school teacher had in mind when she wrote to Charles M. Schulz the creator of the comic strip Peanuts eleven days after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Initially Schulz was reluctant not wanting to be patronizing towards the African American community but Harriet was insistent.

Harriet persisted in her efforts to convince Schulz that the comic strip which was very popular and published in 1,000 newspapers had the potential to reach millions of readers. By showcasing an African American child in the comic strip she felt it would normalize the inclusion of African Americans. Schulz conceded three months later and introduced Franklin as the first African American cartoon character in 1668.

3000 miles away Rob Armstrong, a 6 year old African American boy was inspired seeing Franklin and decided he was going to be a cartoonist just like Schulz. Rob Armstrong’s mom enrolled him in art programs that were exclusively for white kids and he grew up to become a rather successful cartoonist having created Jumpstart that portrayed the trials and tribulations of an African American couple as they balanced work and raising kids.

When he finally met his childhood idol they struck a friendship that lasted until Schulz’s death in 2000. Schulz even named the cartoon character Franklin as Franklin Armstrong in honor of his new friend. Harriet’s idea of using mass media to end racism and promote racial equality is a radical approach. There was no big propaganda or patronizing of the event. Charlie Brown had lost his beach ball and Franklin found it and then they built a sandcastle together.

You don’t fight racism you promote racial equality and humanity. You don’t war against the dark you switch on the light of love and peace. You don’t stop the icy winds you light a fire and spread the warmth.

Let me know what you think, after all we think therefore we are.. alive?

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