Last night Andrew and I watched Thirteen Days—it was part leisure, part homework. I think it's kind of funny that it was homework because the last movie Andrew was assigned to watch, for the same class, was Twelve Angry Men. If this pattern holds, the next movie we will watch for this class will be Fourteen Hours.
Thirteen Days is about the Kennedy administration during the Cuban Missile Crisis and it was a fascinating watch. I don't want to give anything away or anything but in the end everything works out fine and the USSR doesn't use Cuba as a missile launch to blast the United States. Still, it was a rather intense movie. Our world leaders are under so much pressure. I've heard a lot of griping in the news about the president "taking a vacation" here and there. After watching this film all I have to say about that is "more power to him." I wanted to tell all those men to take their families and relax somewhere for a long time.
I was stressed out just watching the movie. Politics is hard.
At one point in the movie when the USA is unsure if the USSR is going to broker a deal with them or not, the main character, Kenny O'Donnell, who wasn't really a major player in the missile crisis (but whatever, it's artistic license), says, "If the sun comes up tomorrow, it is only because of men of good will."
And then the next day when the world still exists because the USSR didn't blow the USA to smithereens he says, "Everyday the sun comes up says something about us." I have a feeling the movie makers intended it to be this way, but I found that line rather poignant. It's still running through my head today.
Everyday the sun comes up says something about us.
Now, I personally believe that it says more about Heavenly Father than it does about us. However, I also believe that everything good comes from God (Moroni 7:12, 1 Timothy 4:4, James 1:17) and I believe that God has created many, many good people, all of whom use their agency to do beautiful things. So, everyday the sun comes up is a triumph of good—the good of man and the good of God (though I still say it is more the good of God because all the good in man is the good of God). Sometimes we get so caught up in seeing the evil of the world that we forget to look at the good; perhaps we would do well to remember that everyday the sun comes up it is a triumph for good, it testifies that God reigns, that Christ lives, that they have already voted for us and are only waiting for us to use our agency to, in a sense, cast our ballot and join them in the fight for good.
Sometimes I get too deep even for myself.
But today I'm grateful for the good people in my life who keep the sun coming up everyday. There are many, many good people in this world and I have been blessed to know a lot of them. More realistically I only know a few of them—do you know how many people are in this world? 6,697,254,041. I know probably a couple thousand people so that's only like .0000298629855% of the global population.
Still, those few good people I know can do tremendous things. One example that has been on my mind lately is my campaign for charity:water. When I first started my husband and mother both thought I was crazy. I, on the other hand, thought I would be lucky to raise maybe a quarter of my original goal but I didn't want to put such a small amount as my goal because goals are supposed to be difficult to achieve.
I'm now 90% of the way to earning the $2500 I set out to raise, my husband and mother don't think I'm crazy anymore—it's always nice to know those closest to you don't think you're crazy—and I'm confident that more good people will donate to bring in that last $250.
Also, I know that the sun will come up tomorrow.
Campaigning has been an interesting experience. My mom actually got really excited about this and has been doing a lot of campaigning with me. She suggested that I go door-to-door in her neighbourhood/ward; she'd volunteered to go with me so I said I would do it. I wasn't very excited about it. There isn't much exciting about going door-to-door begging for money. It's been an amazing experience, though.
The first night we did it, Rachel was being awful. We went to four houses in twenty-two minutes. It was dreadful and no one seemed that interested at all. I was just about ready to lament to my mom about how ineffective door-to-door begging was when our neighbour ran up to us waving a check for $30.
The next night we went campaigning was amazing. We still didn't hit up that many houses because everyone—everyone—invited us inside for a chat. Everyone wanted to know about my experience in Egypt and everyone was interested to hear about the lack of clean water in that area of the world and everyone wanted to chat about this and that. Probably 50% of the houses we went to that night donated cash to me, just like that.
"Oh, you're collecting money to build a well in Africa? I'll be right back!"
Then they'd come back with some change from their purse and we'd sit and chat for a while in their living room until Miriam decided it was time to move on.
I've never been a real chatty person before but it was really fun to just pop in on our neighbours unannounced for a visit. I saw our neighbours in their pyjamas, with their living rooms messy, with puppies and grandchildren crawling around their floors, with their television sets on, curled up on the couch under a throw. It's very different from the picture-perfect facade we so often see for planned visits or on the benches at church. And even though no one had fixed up their house before we came and no one had primped themselves, everyone was good.
It's nice to know I am surrounded by such good people.