Lesson from an amazing movie
"The Hobbit" film isn't for the faint of heart or queasy of spirit. As I watched it for the second time, I was hit by an awesome scene with the wizard Gandalf the Grey and Galadriel, queen of the Lothlorien elves.
Galadriel asks, "Why the Halfling?" Gandalf replies, "Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay ... small acts of kindness and love.
"Why Bilbo Baggins? I don't know. Perhaps because I am afraid, and he gives me courage."
Think about the shootings and killings going on around the United States. I think most will agree that these are evil, heinous doings. Imagine the US government as a "great power" — because it is, is it not?
Genocidal killings and mass murders are not going to be stopped by more gun control laws. If anything, it will make them worse. Making something illegal doesn't make it go away; it makes it more tempting to the dark side of human nature.
What is the only thing that can hold a human's "darkness at bay"? You probably are following my reasoning: "It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay ... small acts of kindness and love."
If someone had shown these killers repeated acts of love and kindness when they were young, they may not have done such crimes later in life. Obviously, even though most of these killers are dead now, that doesn't stop new ones from arising. They come still, more and more, with increasing cruelty.
The 20 children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School will never hold a job, will never graduate or marry and will never pass their family's name on to future generations. The slain teachers and staff will never go home to their families or their kids.
Do you know the kids' names? Dylan Hockley, 6, a special needs child, was found in the arms of his teacher, Ann Marie Murphy. Grace MacDonnell, 7; Chase Kowalski, 7; Emilie Parker, 6, are just a few of them. Imagine if your Dylan, Grace, Chase or Emilie were the victim.
"Dylan had a beaming smile. He played tag every morning at the bus stop with neighbors, bounced on the trampoline and played computer games. He loved the color purple, seeing the moon and chocolate. He was learning to read and was proud to show off his new skills to his parents," Dylan's family shared in a statement.
Imagine you could have stopped their deaths simply by saying something nice or doing a small act of kindness. Adam Lanza, however, is a name everyone knows. After years of being ignored, these killers get their instant spotlight. They are remembered — not the innocent children whose sins have not surpassed stealing a cookie from the cookie jar.
Great power cannot stop these killers. The government cannot stop these killers. But we can. We can show small acts of kindness and love to all those we meet.
So why Dylan Hockley? I don't know. Perhaps because I am afraid and he gives me courage. Courage for the small acts of love.
Evan Campbell is a sophomore at CORE at Camptonville Academy. His column appears every six weeks in Education.