Be a Beacon

How many of us slept with the nightlight on when we were young? Why? The dark is scary. Being in a pitch-dark room seems to amplify every sound. When we cannot see in dark places, what is out there becomes the unknown and the unknown can be very scary. We turn on lights on our porches, garages, barns, and sheds to further keep the darkness away.

I recently watched a podcast where a theoretical physicist talked about how light actually eliminates darkness. “Darkness doesn’t exist when in the presence of light.” For the record, I am not a theoretical physicist. Not even close. I don’t know if that quote is scientifically accurate, but I like it. Darkness does not exist when in the presence of light. What a great idea for our little Tribe of Up.

Let’s have a think about this idea for a moment. Think about all the people we know that are wallowing in darkness. Whether it be financial darkness, relationship darkness, emotional darkness, or anything that does its absolute best to deny light. If we take but a moment to think about those folks, whose faces pop into your mind? I bet we all know many. My friends, it is time to be a light. It is time to become beacons of up. Remember, darkness doesn’t exist when in the presence of light. If we can choose kindness, choose to be up far more often than down, imagine the beacons we could become. Our mood is a choice. How we walk in this world and how we stop to help people who have fallen is a testament to light defeating darkness, one choice at a time.

I have had the good fortune of chatting with many people about our happy little Tribe of Up. People come up to me in stores, on the street and message me via email. The Tribe of Up is real my friends. We are making a difference. We are starting to see beacons of up all around our communities. If we can help people struggling in darkness, we simply must. We can donate to food pantries. We can donate time. We can offer our expertise to those seeking it. We can smile and mean it. Advocating for more joy is a large responsibility, but one we gladly accept.

When we shine a light into the darkness, you never know who will see that light and need it so badly. We can begin this process by choosing kindness over irritation. Take a breath and pause before reacting to something negatively. I work on this every single day. Admittedly, there are good days and bad days. But I won’t quit trying. Will you? Darkness cannot win. We must be beacons for those who need the light to find their way. Together we can do it. Darkness doesn’t exist when in the presence of light. It’s time to prove that physicist correct!

Steve Gwisdalla is a Dexter resident and the Owner, Chief Light Officer, Head Beacon Builder, and Up Chief at Better Place Consulting, a success coaching firm. If your light is feeling a little dim and you need a recharge, reach out to Steve at

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