It Always Comes Down to an Individual

Posted by on February 21, 2013 in On Life | 10 comments


person on pierLast night Adrienne and I went walking. It was a running night, but I didn’t feel like running, so we walked. Having seen the movie, Lincoln, the day before, we started our discourse with that. I began to share how awed I was at the complexity of those times. No history book presentation or history teacher had ever brought that home to me. And what I saw of Lincoln that I’d never been privy to before, thanks to Daniel Day-Lewis’ exquisite depiction of the man, was his brilliant clarity of the issue. Like a cook pushing the peas, carrots, and potatoes aside in a boiling stew long enough for all to see it’s just a thin broth we can see through to the bottom, Lincoln held a vision of clarity, straight through all the concerns, the what ifs, the bargains, and potential repercussions, as to what was actually possible in that moment that could most likely achieve the best results in the end. No small feat. And even more, he chose to find within himself the strength to hold that vision in the face of all he was contending with at that time in his life, hold it long enough and powerfully enough to give this nation a chance to restart in honor and garner the respect of the world in so doing as a nation that rejected slavery.

What I said further to Adrienne was that we should not forget that all great turning points in the history of humankind swivel on the intentions of one individual which points to two undeniable facts: that human beings have available incredible power, the power of their intention; and the reason that power is so vast is because we are utterly interconnected then and now, time and space be damned. Daniel Day-Lewis gifted us with that awareness, for there we were in that movie theatre148 years later, wrapped up in that story even knowing the ending, yet touched by the power and honor of a moment long over by man long dead.

I said to her, “We can’t ever know where we are in the scheme of things, whether we can call any moment good or bad, or where this may be heading. But there is one thing that we get shown over and over again, that being how much darkness one small light can offset. It never ceases to amaze me.” We continued to walk along in loving silence, each in our own thoughts. She’s young and has more of this world ultimately to cope with than I do, so what I trust I left her with once again was the notion that we’ve all got what it takes to do so. The only real question, which has always been the question, is to what degree will we take that on? 

Note: You’ll find this essay in My Blogs>On Life



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  1. ” that being how much darkness one small light can offset” You are one of those lights, and in no way could your light be called small!! Wonderful post, dear Christina!!

    • Christina Carson

      Thank you, Jo, for your continual involvement with this conversation that consumes me. It means a great deal to me to have you there with us.

  2. A great blog Christina and the film gives a better insight into the man.

    • Christina Carson

      Thank you, David. The film was quite the experience, wasn’t it.

  3. Well said my dear.

  4. I love history and thought I knew history. But the movie drove home two key points I never realized: They played politics with buyouts and trade offs in the 1860s just like they do in the 2013s. And I thought the Northern States were universally strong in their stand against slavery, yet the Emancipation Proclamation only passed by two votes. Fascinating.

    • Christina Carson

      Yes, I heard myself thinking, “Lordy nothing much changes,” in reference to politics. What a great way to really learn history. Thanks for your observations – most interesting.

  5. I keep coming back to this blog, just to read the part at the end where you mention I’m young. 😀

    • Christina Carson

      Ha. Ha. Ha. Don’t forget – it’s a relative universe.

Thoughtful comments are always welcome!


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