Be the Light
Mutual Respect and Kindness Can Lead the Way in Turbulent Times
by Jack Guarnieri, Jersey Jack Pinball & PinballSales.com
Did anyone notice that Jan. 6 was Three Kings Day? If you search on Google, it says: “Three Kings’ Day falls on Jan. 6, commemorating the day that it’s believed the three wise men visited Jesus after his birth. In some cultures, Three Kings’ Day is known as Epiphany. The holiday is widely celebrated in Spanish-speaking nations and is connected to Christmas.”
As a Catholic, the “reason for the season” is not gifts and Christmas lights, it’s the birth of a true light of the world, hope and peace. When the Three Kings arrived to pay homage to the little baby, there was hope and a great light in the darkness.
I realize not everyone would know the significance of Jan. 6 when they woke up that day, but as events unfolded, I’m certain almost everyone will remember where they were later in the day. It has become the day that the seat of United States government –– Freedom’s seat –– was squatted in by a group of people who did not belong there, to say it mildly.
Perhaps in some way, it is fitting that the recent events happened on Jan. 6. Perhaps it will awaken the vast majority of law-abiding, peace-loving people in the United States and perhaps it will be an example for good to many other people around the world as well.
We are the United States of America. We can speak our minds, have our Bill of Rights, our Constitution and freedom. There is no royalty in America, no king or queen. The power comes from the people through elections in which we cast votes for our candidates of choice. And in the United States, we have much more that unites us all than divides us!
Is it always fair? No! Is life fair? No! Is there room for improvement? YES, on every level! Violence only begets violence and sometimes we must turn the other cheek 70 times seven if required. Some say doing so only brings a red cheek but we must learn how to get along and work together.
We must learn how to peacefully protest and move forward with mutual respect, care for one another and cooperation instead of condemnation. In the Book of Matthew, it’s written “judge not lest ye be judged.” One thing is certain: we all live in glass houses.
If this pandemic has taught us anything, it should be that life is very fragile and not promised to anyone. Some 95-year-olds survived Covid while some healthy 20-somethings have died. Why? I don’t know. I do know that I want to spend my day doing good things for others, making people smile and laugh. That was the idea behind starting a pinball company in the first place: to bring more fun into the world and to see people forget their troubles while playing the games.
If each of us did some small random act of kindness every day, we can –– and surely will –– change the world. It sounds simple, and it is. It all begins with you and your attitude, your words and, most importantly, your actions.
Be the light that you were meant to be. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, “Only light can drive out darkness.” Smile and make someone else smile back at you.
Jack Guarnieri started servicing electro-mechanical pinball machines in 1975 and has been involved in every phase of the amusement game business since then. He was an operator in NYC, then began a distributorship in 1999, PinballSales.com, selling coin-op to the consumer market. In January of 2011, he founded Jersey Jack Pinball (named after his RePlay Magazine pen name), which builds award-winning, full-featured, coin-op pinball machines. Email Jack at jack@ jerseyjackpinball.com.