Compassion, Sacrifice and Endurance -- a holiday message from Bill Singer

December 21, 2010

The holiday season is upon us. 

Compared to the last few years, things just don't seem as bleak. We appear to be emerging from the depths of the Great Recession, but, at best, we have a tenuous grip on the thin ledge of recovery.

Still . . . isn't that's pretty much what life is and has always been? 

Struggles. And overcoming them.

Failing. And getting back up on our feet. 

Sometimes, the only satisfaction we get from fighting the good fight is the taste of our own blood in our mouth. Nonetheless, even that spittle is the affirmation that we survived.

In another age, the world had emerged from the horrors of World War II only to enter the Cold War and the threat of nuclear annihilation. Then, as now, the world seemed to be cracking apart.  However, against such a background, about two weeks before Christmas Day 1950, the American author William Faulkner delivered a speech in honor of his having been awarded the Nobel Prize of Literature in 1949. Please consider Faulkner's inspirational words in this excerpt:

[I] decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last dingdong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking.

I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. . .

Read William Faulkner's full speech at the Nobel Banquet at the City Hall in Stockholm, Sweden, December 10, 1950, at

Where Faulkner and I part company is concerning the nature of that voice on that last red and dying evening.  That inexhaustible voice on that final day, should it ever come, will not be puny.  To the contrary, it will sound like this:

I wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday!

Bill Singer