Scientifically speaking, darkness does not exist. Only light does. Scientists can study light: the photons that carry it, its wavelike motion, its energy content. They cannot and do not study darkness for there are no photons to observe, no waves to detect and no energy to measure. Darkness is nothing; it is the absence of light. And yet I can and do experience darkness. It is the home of all my fears and nightmares, of whatever it is that is lacking or missing in my life. It is also the source of all my longings, specially of the light, of the brightness of seeing and of the luminance of life.
Likewise, cold does not exist. Only heat does. Yet, I can also experience the cold. In extreme cold, not only is heat absent. Even life as we know it dies out. I have experienced cold so extreme, it set me thinking that hell is not one hot fiery place but a cold, desolate, frozen wasteland. And yet, there are times, I love the cold. In sweltering weather, I long for the respite to a cool breeze. And what would Christmases be like without the winter wonderland landscape. In the depths of the wintry cold, we long for the new life that comes with spring.
And so it is in life, we understand something better by its absence. And in understanding both existence and non-existence, we come upon some precious insights. As a teacher, I see illiteracy and lack of education not as an obstacle but a motivation for teaching. There are no bad students once we realize that education can liberate minds just as light can drive out the darkness and heat can drive out the cold. Nothing frees people more effectively from the shackles of illiteracy and ignorance than the power of education and information. Despots keep their subjects enslaved by keeping them ignorant of the truth or feeding them false information. Teaching will dispel the darkness in the minds of people and replace it with the light of truth. Teaching will banish the coldness in the hearts of people and replace it with the warmth of love.
In all this, I can choose to be an agent of light rather than darkness, of warmth rather than coldness, of life rather than death, of truth rather than lies. of love rather than hatred, of goodness rather than evil, of what is beautiful rather than of what is ugly.
The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
Jesus said to his Apostles:
“No disciple is above his teacher,
no slave above his master.
It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher,
for the slave that he become like his master.
If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub,
how much more those of his household!”