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Light the world

Progressive Forage Editor Lynn Jaynes Published on 30 November 2017

Let me cast a little light.

There’s a robot hall of fame (yes, who knew?) established in 2003 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The idea for the Robot Hall of Fame was conceived by Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science dean James H. Morris, who described it as a way to “honor robots that have served an actual or potentially useful function and demonstrated real skill, along with robots that entertain and those that have achieved worldwide fame in the context of fiction.”

As such, 30 robots (remember, some are real and some not) have been inducted, including: R2-D2, C-3PO (both from Star Wars), HAL 9000 (2001: A Space Odyssey), Dewey, Huey and Louie (not kidding … from Silent Running), a couple of Mars rovers, Terminator T-800 (from the Terminator franchise), PackBot (used, for example, to aid searches through the debris of the World Trade Center and assess damage from the Fukushima nuclear plant after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami) and WALL-E (from the film of the same name).

Yes, folks, we gave R2-D2 the same billing as a Mars rover. We apparently value Dewey, Huey and Louie as much as we do PackBot.

If not for this editorial, you might still be “in the dark” about such things, but we’ve now illuminated this subject a bit for you. So this light might have been:

A. Somewhat useful

B. Affirming to those with fictional tastes

C. A waste of good light

I’m gonna go with C.

Light, however – in and of itself – is fascinating and useful. Of course, we only see a small part of the light spectrum. Light looks white, but it is really a combination of colors, as can be seen when fractured by shining it onto a prism. (I, like you, tried combining a bunch of crayon colors to test this theory in grade school to produce “white” and ended up with something the color of doggy-doo. So I’m going to have to take the experts’ word for it on this one.)

And yes, I have a point. We’re about there.

The important part of light is: It warms and illuminates. By that definition, kindness is light, for kindness illuminates and warms humanity. Cheerfulness, compassion, integrity, charity – all of these warm and illuminate the best in humanity. By that definition, Paavo bore light. Never heard of Paavo? Let me tell you about him.

Paavo (as told in Johan Ludvig Runeberg’s poem) was a poor peasant farmer living with his wife and children in Finland. Several years in a row, his crops failed. Each time the meager harvest came in, Paavo’s wife complained God had forsaken them, and Paavo simply counseled her to mix bark with the rye flour to make bread so they wouldn’t go hungry.

Then he worked harder to drain his marshy fields and be a better farmer. He was convinced God was testing them but would provide.

Every time the crop was destroyed, Paavo told his wife to double the amount of bark mixed into the bread, and Paavo worked harder.

Finally, Paavo harvested a rich crop. His overjoyed wife said, “Now ’tis time for happy days and merry. Now ’tis time to cast the bark away and bake our bread henceforth of the rye entirely.” But Paavo took his wife’s hand and said, “Mix thou in the bread a half of bark still, for all frost-nipped stands our neighbor’s cornfield.”

The light Paavo bore was his desire to take his joy and plenty and share it with his neighbor.

You and I don’t have to worry about “being” the light. Jesus Christ said, “I am the light of the world.” It’s really up to you and I to just be the prism and “throw” a little of that light to others in hues of kindness, compassion, gratitude and forgiveness. 

Especially during this Christmas season, let us do our part to throw a little light into the corners of an ever-darkening world.  end mark

Lynn Jaynes
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