January 4, 2009: Letter to the editor

Today in meeting for worship, a message came to me. What was strange about this particular message was that it came “earmarked,” so to speak. “This is a letter to The Boston Globe,” my Inner Voice whispered. So when I came home, here’s what I wrote and sent:

What is happening in Gaza reminds me of a story I was told in Sunday School. Unitarian-Universalists of a certain age may remember it:

The Wind and The Sun each proclaimed to be the most powerful. When a man wearing an overcoat walked by, they decided to put their strength to a test. Which of them could force that man to take off his coat? The Wind blew and blew; the man buttoned up his coat. The Wind doubled his efforts but the man adjusted his collar and kept on walking. No matter how how mightily The Wind blew, that man did not take off his coat. When The Sun shone powerfully on that man, he immediately shed that coat, of course.
I don’t remember if, in the original story, The Sun had any last words to The Wind so will supply my own: “You know what the definition of ‘crazy’ is?” The Sun taunts the breathless, exhausted Wind. “Crazy is doing the same thing over and over and failing every time yet ¬†hoping for a different result the next time.”
Surely, in 2009, for either Israel or Palestine to believe that violence will achieve anything (except more violence, of course) is crazy. As The Sun so ably schooled The Wind, light trumps might.