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Well, it’s a bit bleak for Hawaii: windy, rainy, and a 72-degree February day. An ocean away in Washington, D.C., the Senate Majority Leader has tossed the new occupant of the White House a dozen bouquets. He has come under the sway or forced embrace of a man who has nothing but praise for states that like to discriminate.

I’m relieved but also a bit sad that Hawaii is one of the few truly safe places left in the United States for openly welcoming diversity.

I was asked today to speak to young students about Quakerism. Many already had mental images of the Quaker Oats man and the Amish. I explained that although there is great diversity among Quakers, there is inner Light in all of us, and the joy of every day is to find that Light even in times of uncertainty.

The students asked if what I meant by Light was God. I smiled and said it could be, but it was also a commitment to peace, justice, equality, and stewardship of our earth. I was stunned that they kept asking many reasonable questions for over half an hour.

lichtI probably looked a bit earnest, but I assured the students I have plenty of lighthearted moments.

One of them was this past weekend. I did something I always wanted to do but somehow never did until yesterday: I tried out a photo booth! My daughter and I doubled over in laughter as we realized I was not a wellspring of knowledge. In fact, had it not been for Ellen, I might have given up on the experience.

But Ellen provided the direction and Light I needed, and we left the small, tight space overjoyed we had a present for both her dads.

The new occupant of the White House is trying to squeeze those who do not share his points of view, who are outspoken about their own, into dark places. I believe, though, that their Light will break through.