Friday, 14 June 2013

“Better to light a candle than curse the darkness” (Eleanor Roosevelt)

“Better to light a candle than curse the darkness” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
A Way Out has been nominated by Stockton MP Alex Cunningham for a Centre for Social Justice award and this quote was on the awards literature.  It linked to something that was going through my mind this week.  For the past few weeks, our news columns have been filled with the tragic story of Drummer Lee Rigby; the devastating event, the subsequent grief, the nation’s pain and individuals’ anger.  This was a truly dark moment for our nation.  But one story jumped out at me over the weekend that lit a candle into all this darkness.  This was the coverage of the Hero Ride on Saturday in London.  1,300 people descended from all parts of the UK and Europe to raise funds for soldiers and families of soldiers, like Lee Rigby, who have been devastated by war and conflict.  1,300 people cycled for a cause, motivated by love and solidarity; 1,300 people making a positive sacrifice for something they believed in and being a light in the darkness.

It reminded me of the beginnings of A Way Out and the darkness I had witnessed many years ago, when I found children being used by men as prostitutes on the streets of Stockton.  It reminded me of the devastating poverty and abuse that we uncovered in our communities; of the children’s lives that were being needlessly lost to suicide, drugs and alcohol.  But most of all it reminded me of that moment when we decided to be a candle in the darkness and the sacrifices myself and the other founders of A Way Out chose to make to bring back hope to these devastating situations.  There are many people who have now given their lives, their time, their finances or resources to make a difference in the lives of women and young people across our Borough and to me this is a reminder that there is still so much good, hope, love and life in the world.  Each of us has the ability to be a candle, to be a light in dark places and every one of us has the capacity to love and to give and to care.  While it is so easy to curse the darkness, what will actually make it disappear is the light.

Jessie Joe Jacobs (trying to be a light)

If you are interested in helping us bring light, hope and freedom in Stockton, please see our website for all the ways you can get involved.
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