As I read obituaries of Patty Duke, I can’t help but be grateful for her work to eliminate the stigma of mental illness. Her willingness to share her story of living with bipolar disorder made it easier for millions of other people to face their own darkness, and thus lightened the burden for their family members. This affects me personally and sometimes breaks my heart but for the power of stories like hers. As hard as it is now, where would we be without her courage?
Be the change, said Mahatma Ghandi. Be the light in the night for those who are afraid. Jesus told us, “You are the light of the world.” He instructed us to live the Beatitudes not for our own sake but for others, to bring mercy and justice into an empty and cold world. I’m grateful to everyone who nurtures hope and lights candles in the face of despair.