Shine a Light, by Tyler Smith
Evil thrives in darkness.
It scurries about, gleefully exploiting the weakness and vulnerability of others, while the rest of the world carries on in the light, ignorant (or perhaps in denial) 0f the darker instincts of humanity. It is only when a cold, hard spotlight is shone that the monsters run for cover like cockroaches. It is in these moments that we start to see the horrendous truth about power and the corrupting influence it can have. The same power that causes people to feel entitled to hurt others is also what allows them to work under the cover of darkness, as wagons are circled and victims are silenced.
And so on those rare occasions when the light comes on, and we can all see clearly, it is truly a wonderful and horrible sight to behold. When those that have been allowed to indulge themselves for decades – leaving dozens of emotionally and physically broken souls in their wake – are exposed as the predators they are, justice can finally be done, and some level of healing can finally begin. Of course, there is plenty of regret; that we didn’t see it sooner, or perhaps that we didn’t want to see it. But we see it now. And we are angry.
That anger is a good thing. It can energize us into ensuring that such horrible things are never allowed to happen again. We not only punish the guilty, but we work to cultivate an environment that no longer provides cover to the predatory. We no longer curse the darkness, but instead light match after match until every single detail of the world around us in sharp, clear focus. We make those that would seek to hurt others for their own delight realize that there is no longer a place for them to hide, no longer a safe haven for their monstrous acts. So, instead, they decide to fight against their own inhumanity, and join those of us who strive – and, yes, often fail – to put ourselves aside and make the world a slightly better place for those around us.
Of course, this is only possible if we turn on the light, and keep it burning for as long as we can. And on that inevitable day when it burns out, we pray that we aren’t quite so content next time to dwell in darkness, and we work tirelessly to light the torches again.