Saturday, November 17, 2012

To be stewards

Gandalf the Grey:
The rule of no realm is mine, neither of Gondor nor any other, great or small. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, those are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail of my task, though Gondor should perish, if anything passes through this night that can still grow fair or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I also am a steward. Did you not know?
This, now, is our task. To guard the things that remain. To cherish the seeds, though Gondor should perish. If anything passes through this night that can still grow fair or bear fruit and flower in days to come, we shall not wholly have failed of our task.

We cannot do this if we become bitter and cynical. (I speak to myself there as well as to others.) We shall not be able to carry out our task if the only things we can find to say are despairing things and bitter things. We shall not be able to carry out our task if we tear one another to pieces. We shall not be able to carry out our task if the only thing that fills our mind is the evil of mankind (or, though I would under ordinary circumstances not add this, but have a special reason for doing so, of womankind).

There is evil among the people and there is evil in high places. Something great that we have loved is ending. Gondor will probably not survive this night. And, yes, there is a place for chronicling that, if only to make people aware of what they now have to face and of what props they no longer have. Mourning is not wrong. But something we can preserve, if we love it. Therefore, let us cherish all that we can of those worthy things that are in peril.

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