The Everyday Deeds
By Ilyas Talwar '20
If you have some free time over the coming weeks I would recommend that you watch The Hobbit movies. They’re well-made, entertaining, feel-good movies. Some say that they don’t live up The Lord of the Rings films, but I think they’re enjoyable and fun to watch, which is really all that matters with movies. That being said, this article isn’t really about The Hobbit, but instead, it’s about a quote from the first movie. When asked why he chose a Hobbit, a small creature, for such a big adventure, Gandalf replies,
Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps because I am afraid, and he gives me courage.
I think this is a great quote. The world is full of unhappiness and evil deeds. We don’t have to look far to find stories of terrible atrocities, not to mention the many cruel acts that play out in everyday life that go unreported, remembered only by the victims and perpetrators. In fact, if you go to news sites or turn on the TV you’ll find headline after headline about a dozen different things that are going wrong. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think the world was a terrible, depressing, and violent place where kindness and joy are in very short supply.
I think this is very far from the truth. In fact, I believe there is kindness and joy everywhere, you need only look more closely. The child who spends an afternoon playing with their dog is not newsworthy. Nor is the kind stranger who gives the homeless man some money for food. But you must still agree that they made the world a kinder and happier place. There are so many small acts of love that go unnoticed, yet, as Gandalf says, “they keep the darkness at bay.” It is easy to be angry at the world and view it as a terrible place full of nothing good and everything bad. And, there are many times when that anger is warranted. As I said before, the world is rife with injustice and cruelty. But it is also a place of love and kindness, and all we need to see that is to look a little closer at the “small everyday deeds of ordinary folk.”