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Mental Health

It’s Time to Shed Light on Spreading Light

Light. 

We can see it. We can feel it. We can diminish it. We also can radiate it. 

Whether it peaks into your blinds, awakening you from your slumber, or aids you in reading off the menu in a dimly-lit restaurant- like it does my mother- there is something to be said about the concept of light. And spreading it. 

You see, the concept of light is more than the sun’s plentiful rays shining upon the earth or the lantern that guides you back to your tent in the pitch-black forest. To me, light is something magical. It is something that represents kindness, warmth, generosity, goodness and faith. It is something that uplifts others and the world around us. It is something I believe each and every one of us possesses. It is also something I believe we can spread.


Girl Happy Smiling Blinds Sun Light Bracelet
Charlotte Reader / Her Campus

That being said, light is also something without which the world can be cold. Dark. Gloomy. So often, there is this dark force pervading our lives, sucking out that bright illumination that so often energizes us to be, feel, and do better. 

We’ve all felt this darkness. 

In fact, I did this past week. 

It was a gloomy D.C. morning. I was sitting at one of my favorite coffee shops with tears burning in my eyes, reading that yet another person in a community close to home had taken their life. I then was reminded that it was the birthday of a girl I knew who passed away at age 18. A sudden wave of grief overtook my body as I thought about the people I, and others, have lost, the injustice, the malice, the greed, and the pain existing in this world that can make even the strongest source of light seem jet-black.


Woman staring at a window sadly
Photo by Tiago Banderia from Unsplash

But then, I heard a sound. Someone sitting beside me flipped on their table’s lamp switch. 

Suddenly, there was light. 

I paused. And then I smiled. This small source of light reminded me of the other uplifting, moments of ‘light’ I had experienced, and exuded, earlier that day. I remembered how someone held the door open for me as I made my way into an elevator, my hands filled with textbooks and a computer. I remembered how I ran into a family outside touring campus in the rain and brought them to the warm coffee-shop, hopefully making their experience a little better. I remembered somehow feeling the warmth of my professor’s smile through a computer screen. 

And then I realized that my day, even with some of its darkness, was filled with pockets of light. 

Those pockets of light I had experienced- the small acts of kindness, gratitude, love, hope, faith, and beyond- contrasted the immense darkness I had felt earlier. They didn’t entirely eliminate the darkness, but they helped alleviate it. They were reminders that light surrounds all of us and that we can be the light. 

At that moment, with such reminders in my mind, I planned to be a source of light to any and all people who would come my way. I realized there’s no reason why a bit of warmth and love cannot infuse itself into the gloomiest of days.


Girl holding heart in sunset
Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR from Pexels

Darkness is inevitably part of our lives. But so is light. 

As the sun rises each day, we can too. We can be the light that illuminates others, making them feel loved, worthy and bright. We can be the light that combats the hatred, greed and stress that darken our hearts and heads. We can be the light that opens the door for the stranger, that helps the family out in the rain, that makes the darkest of shadows just a bit brighter. 

That said, I challenge you to be a light. Be that ray of sunshine. As many of us have learned from other losses and challenges, this life is a short one. We might as well make it bright.

Maya Mor

American '23

Maya Mor is a junior at American University from Denver, CO. She is studying psychology, business administration, and communications. She enjoys writing, being with people, traveling, eating ice cream, fashion, Judaism and Israel, female empowerment, and advocating for mental health. She is passionate, zestful, and loves working with Her Campus to inspire, share, learn, love, and grow.
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