Did you ever blow dandelion fluff off the end of a stem with a soft puff of your breath? Have you enjoyed a gentle, cooling light breeze on a Summer evening?
Wind . . . simply the movement of air particles. Air . . . unsubstantial, visibly imperceptible stuff. Not even noticeable . . . until a hurricane or tornado hits you in the face . . . or blasted by a gale that can blow you off a mountain (such as the 231 mph measured on Mount Washington, NH in April 1934). Just light, little particles . . . but 25 million tons of them for every square mile of planet Earth. Meteorologists calculate that a typical weather front consists of 750 million tons of cold air pinned beneath a billion tons of warmer air. Just a big bunch of tiny particles banded together to produce a powerful force.
The same principle applies to water. One drop . . . inconsequential, powerless all by its lonesome. But joining with millions of other drops results in the stunning force of a tsunami or the “Terminator” rapids on the Futaleufú River in Chile.
Ah, what we can do together that one person could never do alone. And any individual can be the spark that fires the gathering together of like-minded people in a worthy cause. Whether the spark (please never sell yourself short) or one of the drops in the wave, combing efforts can produce stupendous results. Think of Mahatma Gandhi, who began the movement that led to England’s removing the colonial yoke from India. Think of Randy Faro, who helped facilitate Namibia’s independence in 1990 by simply being one of the millions of drops in the wave that propelled South Africa to abandon its military occupation.
Each one of us has power. Wind and water remind us of how that power can be mobilized for good when we link arms in the quest for peace with justice. All too often people join together for destructive, evil purposes. But as Gandhi and Martin Luther and Martin Luther King Jr. illustrate, comity and love can and will overcome brutality and hate.