It was noted that all of the worlds great leaders, including Peter Benson, point away from themselves and to the rest of the world. One of the songs sung at the funeral was "This little light of mine". All were encouraged to let their lights shine, and to recognize and light the sparks in others... those special gifts and interests that are unique to each of us.
To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage and kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and place - and there are so many - where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a wold in a different direction.