I firmly believe these past few words have been a great line of stepping stones for this blog. Over the past few days, I talked about the love and fire in our hearts that burns brightly and how we should use this light to illuminate the rest of the world with positive energy. As I sit here however, I realize that we don't live in this world and it makes you wonder why some of the world is covered in darkness. Of course I am not referring to the literal sense of darkness as in day and night, but darkness in the sense of negative energies which encircle the world we live in today. This broad spectrum can range from anything involving war or the stabbings at the school in Pennsylvania to our own communities where residents think it is okay to scream "Fag" down the hall at an RA and ruin his day, or a resident who goes on the Yik Yak app to post negative comments about a roommate or other people on campus. Although I know these different aspects have many different components and could be taken in many different directions, I want to summarize them with the concept of fear.
I must have Harry Potter on the mind since this is now the third post in a row that I have referenced the series, but there is one scene in particular that always gets to me. When Lupin introduces the class to a boggart and explains how this creature will take the form of something that you are most afraid of. It amazes me this creature always turns into something tangible. Of course movies/books have their limitations and I know it is very easy to say "I'm scared of spiders or snakes", but in today's society, there are so many bigger things that scare us and prevent us from achieving our goals. For me, I know I am the most scared of the unknown and how my future will turn out. So many times I find myself stressing over things that might never even happen or things that I don't even have control over. I had to laugh when I saw the picture above and imagined if I were to step in front of the cabinet and the boggart just became a big question mark and began chasing me around. I think this is the driving force when it comes to the darkness though, it is fear of things we don't understand.
So how do we combat this fear? It would be very easy if we just looked at a scary situation and yelled "riddikulus" at it, but I'm pretty sure our level of sanity would come into question by any bystander. Instead, I think it is important to take on this darkness with the weapon of education and a hint of curiosity. If there is something you do not understand, take the additional steps and do some research about it. Ask questions, take chances, and put yourself out there. Place yourself in another person's shoes and wonder how they would see or handle a situation. To illustrate this point, there was a computer game I used to play as a kid where you could only see the environment in their immediate vicinity. As your character began to move around however, the area they traveled became more visible and the darkness vanished. Just like this game component, we should take it upon ourselves to travel into the darkness and explore the unknown. Although it might be scary sometimes, you might even need to take a leap of faith and travel outside of your comfort zone in order to really begin to spread the positive vibes through the world we live in. “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.” (Dumbledore)