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Making the Light


Wayne Gray

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"My batteries are almost gone, and it's getting dark."

This was the slightly-romanticized description of the last transmission from the little, tenacious rover, Opportunity, on the planet Mars. It had been there and operating for fifteen years - thirteen beyond the wildest dreams of NASA engineers. It heavily depended on solar power, and over time the dust storms on the planet slowly covered its solar cells. That last transmission came when a planet-wide dust storm hit. The rover sent the transmission, then did what its programming told it to do - shut down, and hope when the dust cleared, enough light would fall on it to revive it. Though engineers in Florida, California, and Texas all knew ... it was the last time we would hear from the little machine.

I think about those words and how poignant they are. Even though they were attached to a hunk of metal, plastic and carbon, there were so many lives involved in creating, assembling, rooting for, and mourning their speaker.

I can't help but draw comparisons. A lot of people right now are pretty low. Batteries are empty. The only thing keeping them going is that maybe tomorrow will be a little brighter. What we do to and for others matters - perhaps now more than at any other time in our lives. We have the power to make the light in the lives of those around us.

I know there are days where I can't. I can't. I can barely lift my head, and I have to force myself to work, eat, and function. Those aren't the days to give anything of myself. Instead, there are uplifting messages, conversations, and positivity from people I've tried to lift on my better days. Sometimes, when it's darkest in my world, someone I love shares their light with me.

And so it goes.

Unlike Opportunity, when I cry out, "My batteries are almost gone, and it's getting dark," someone shares their light.

Just as I will for them.

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53 minutes ago, MichaelS36 said:

Batteries are low. I know there are times when coping with anything is hard. Especially at the beginning of our lockdown.  Our society values production, work, and wealth.  We are human, not machines and now is the time to remember that.  

Thanks for this excellent reminder, Wayne. 

I'm trying to make sure I do all the things I need to, as my responsibilities are concerned. Beyond that, it changes day to day what I'm able to offer. Sometimes I'm able to meet those values you describe that society values so much, and sometimes I'm simply not.

I'll continue working on being at peace with that.

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i remember how surprised the NASA folks were that the little rover has lasted as long as it did
this was well said Wayne.
when my batteries run low i remember the old saying that you can't fill others with an empty cup and try to step back
it's hard though, especially for carers, we're hard wired to take care of others
take care Wayne :hug:
 

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1 hour ago, Wayne Gray said:

I'm trying to make sure I do all the things I need to, as my responsibilities are concerned. Beyond that, it changes day to day what I'm able to offer. Sometimes I'm able to meet those values you describe that society values so much, and sometimes I'm simply not.

I'll continue working on being at peace with that.

Just cuz society values them doesnt mean they are good or right. Im sure thats what Michael means. If we learn anything from this i hope we learn that. I hope we learn to see value in each life. Because right now too many do not.

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1 hour ago, mollyhousemouse said:

i remember how surprised the NASA folks were that the little rover has lasted as long as it did
this was well said Wayne.
when my batteries run low i remember the old saying that you can't fill others with an empty cup and try to step back
it's hard though, especially for carers, we're hard wired to take care of others
take care Wayne :hug:
 

Thanks, molly.

I agree. We've got to recharge, and even let others help us with that if they're able.

The story of the rover is so remarkable and unexpectedly sweet. The people keeping it alive, eking enough energy out of its crippled solar cells, they pitted their brilliance against an entire planet set on destroying their little creation. And for thirteen years beyond its mission, they did.

you take care too, molly.

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6 minutes ago, Mikiesboy said:

Just cuz society values them doesnt mean they are good or right. Im sure thats what Michael means. If we learn anything from this i hope we learn that. I hope we learn to see value in each life. Because right now too many do not.

I agree with you and Mike both. It's easy to value societal treasures, like the ones he mentioned. I was having trouble saying "yes, I need to figure out how to let go of what is expected, and do whatever it is I need to get through."

People should take center stage. The needs of those who require the most help in particular. Production, work and wealth can all burn if it means one more vulnerable person stays healthy (mentally or physically).

Thanks, tim.

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