There’s Some Good in This World, and It’s Worth Fighting For

It’s all wrong. By rights, we shouldn’t even be here. But we are.

At the age of 11, I was introduced to Lord of the Rings. That night, my dad brought home a Blockbuster rental copy (lol) of The Fellowship of the Ring, and we made a deal: I could watch it with him or I could go to bed. As a lifetime night-owl, the bedtime clause alone was enough to make it a done deal for me.

Thus began my lifelong obsession with Lord of the Rings: 15 years later, I am still hooked on the joy, motivation and happiness I derive from immersing myself in Tolkien’s world.

That’s why I often watch look to LOTR for inspiration in the face of despair. Long nights studying for college exams became infinitely better after watching the Rohirrim charge across Pelennor Field during the Battle of Minas Tirith.

Above: The actual clip that’s bookmarked in my browser for times when I need motivation.

With that being said, my absolute favorite inspirational scene is Sam’s speech from Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

On a normal day, this clip (below) brings tears to my eyes and instills in me a burning hope for humanity. Now, it’s been a rough campaign season here in the U.S., and I don’t think there’s been a time within the past several months that I’ve watched this clip and haven’t felt the urge to curl up and cry.

And now, there’s today. The day after Election Day.

It’s no secret that I fear our new President-elect. Regardless of his opposition in the 2016 election (which certainly left more than a little to be desired), I always found him to be more of a perpetually not-funny cultural joke. But it was his rhetoric that truly terrified me: rhetoric that denigrated anyone unfortunate enough to fall into the categories of being non-white, an immigrant, a member of the LGBTQ community, a Muslim, a female, disabled, or poor—rhetoric that an unbelievable number of people in this country wholeheartedly embraced.

Needless to say, I am afraid. As a minority, the daughter of immigrants, a young woman, a person who has always called the United States my home — I feel the dark cloud of uncertainty and hate billowing across the horizon (and yet, remarkably, this cloud remains completely invisible to so many of my fellow citizens).

I couldn’t bring myself to watch Sam’s speech this morning. I suspected that not even the words of a valiant, kind-hearted hobbit could lift my spirits and give me hope.

But in the end, of course, my desire for optimism prevailed, and I listened to Sam’s speech with tears in my eyes and a sense of reassurance growing in my mind. No more mourning. Our country now rests on the shoulders of we, the people.

All this to say, I’m not doing great at the moment, thinking of the implications that last night’s election results could have upon the social and cultural fabric of our country (and beyond). But I think I’ll be all right. We’ll be all right.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us, after all. And I believe that we must now band together to fight everyday occurrences of injustice, hatred, bigotry and prejudice — and in doing so, there’s a chance we can all protect one another and come out of this all right.

And that is an encouraging thought.

It’s all wrong. By rights, we shouldn’t even be here. But we are.

It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end, because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?

But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass; a new day will come. And when the sun shines, it’ll shine out the clearer.

Those were the stories that stayed with you that meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now: Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going, because they were holding onto something…

That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.

 


What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment below, so long as your remarks are kind and civil.

And for more logical reassurance regarding the future of our country, check out It’s Going to Be Okay on Wait But Why.

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