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Tag Archives: History

 

Torch bearers are the ones who lead the way through the darkness.  One definition is that torch bearers are the ones who impart knowledge, truth, or inspiration to others.  Torch bearers inspire others to take up the cause for justice, for creating a better world whether it be for better living conditions, fairer treatment, equitable pay, etc.  The job of a torch bearer is oftentimes dangerous because as leaders, they are the ones most in harm’s way as they seek to change unjust systems or aid the cast outs of society.  When they are bearing the torches and leading the way through uncharted territories, they are the ones who are often most feared and reviled by those with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.  Even so, torch bearers forge ahead despite the risks because their sense of humanity and charity, and their outrage over injustices meted out by an unscrupulous few, is greater than fear for their own well-being.  Torch bearers are the catalysts to change unjust systems.  Torch bearers are the bearers of love and hope amidst pain and oppression.  We do not thank them enough, and most often we vilify them until years later when we decide to make them heroes:  Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, all suffragettes who suffered beatings and abuses so women could receive the right to vote, whistle blowers who lose their livelihood and their friends to expose wrongs, artists who dare to create beauty in the midst of ugliness, writers who tell the stories that need to be told, religious leaders who stand up to the status quo and seek to live by principle rather than by popularity.  The list goes on and on.  What we hear in the news has very little to do with torch bearers and a whole lot to do with sensation seekers.  Wouldn’t it be nice if our elected officials chose to become torch bearers for a better, more humane, compassionate world as opposed to perpetual campaigners who will tell their constituents what they want to hear all so they~the politicians~are assured of continued tenure as an elected representative with all its attending perks (perks they vote for themselves I might add) and the power that goes with the office.  As you can see, I am not too keen on politicians at the moment, but I am extremely grateful for torch bearers who are the true change agents of society.  Who are our torch bearers today?  Who are the ones leading the way against the injustices, those seeking to model kindness, caring, empathy and concern for a hurting world.  Where are our torch bearers?

We drove through some beautiful countryside on our first day of vacation.  When we crossed the state line into West Virginia, we began looking for a “Welcome Center” or “Visitors’ Center.”  Each time we enter a state, we like to pick up brochures to see what kinds of interesting places and events the state has to offer.  When we entered West Virginia however, the visitors center was closed and travelers were directed via detour to another location.  Following the signs and arrows took us much further off the beaten path than we had intended to venture, and we were seriously considering turning back, retracing our path back to the interstate highway and continuing our journey toward my Kentucky home.  But just as we were ready to give up, we descended down a mountainside into the delightful, historic district of the village of Greenbrier.  The Greenbrier Valley Visitor Center sat on a corner in the middle of the town.  While Richard went inside to grab some state literature, maps and brochures, I wandered around a 3 or 4 block area shooting pictures.  As I was shooting, an occasional passerby would stop and point out something of interest that I might want to shoot: dates on buildings, titles of what the building used to be, a stone house once at the center of a Civil War battle, etc. The friendliness of the people and the picturesque village made for a delightful, refreshing and rejuvenating break from our journey toward home.  I am grateful for the delightful surprises of unexpected side trips.

 

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