Editorial: Best wishes for a happy Easter and happier days ahead
photo by: Journal-World Photo Illustration
Easter always has had a dichotomy at its heart. One of the holiday’s most powerful symbols is an empty tomb. One of its most powerful messages is that we are truly never empty.
It is a particularly important message to remember during these times. In fact, regardless of whether you are Christian, it seems that Easter could be a particularly helpful holiday to everyone who is battling through a second year of this pandemic.
A central theme of Easter, of course, is sacrifice. The pandemic has required much sacrifice. Wearing a mask, though, hasn’t been one of them. An inconvenience, yes. An annoyance, yes. But Easter is good at putting sacrifices into perspective, and covering your mouth and nose — not so much to protect yourself but to protect others — is no sacrifice. Masks hang from your nose, not from a cross. Let’s power through the final months of this pandemic and continue following the advice of health professionals to the end.
But certainly, there have been sacrifices, some small and some final. There are damaged psyches over everything from canceled graduation ceremonies to lost visits with grandchildren. There are broken hearts over deaths that should not have been, deaths that occurred next to an empty bedside, and disease that has damaged bodies in ways that won’t fully recover.
Those sacrifices are very real and very painful. That is why it probably is wise for us to focus less on the sacrificial message of Easter this year and more on the promise that it makes. That empty tomb promised us that we will not be alone. That message should provide us comfort during these tough times.
The message has been comforting Christians for more than two millennia now. Ponder that length of time for a moment. For more than 2,000 years a story of a man hanging from a cross has given hope, because for so many it is so much more than a story.
If you are not Christian, Easter won’t have the same meaning, but there is certainly no reason it should be meaningless. Everyone can embrace the idea of never being alone. We all can look for ways to be together. Make that extra phone call this holiday. Do something outrageously nice that gets noticed, not to take credit for it, but rather to remind those around you that they are not alone. Simply share a smile more.
None of this requires a belief in anything other than the conviction that we are not destined to be alone.
It would be naive, though, to say that it is always easy. There are people who are alone in their homes and have so little contact with others. There are those who have had all their close family members die and feel they don’t have a place to turn. There are those who have lived a life that has convinced them that being alone is the better alternative. As humans, we should seek them and try to reach them.
But even if we fail — an undeniable part of being human — know that even they are not alone. We all have something inside of us. Anyone with a mind has felt it at some point. Whether it is called intuition, conscience or a voice of a savior, it is there. Even during these tough, depressing times, it is still there. The challenge is not possessing it. The challenge is embracing it.
A perfectly appropriate wish for Easter is that we all embrace it. Best wishes for a happy Easter and happier days ahead.