WHEN LIFE SEEMS to be unraveling, when everything around you argues for letting go and giving up, the temptation is to succumb. People along the Gulf Coast know that temptation only too well, as do the people on the tsunami-devastated coast of Sumatra, and villagers in eastern Congo who still live in fear of raiding militias.

Recovery and repair efforts on the Gulf Coast are underway. Survivors are doing their best to return to a life as close to normal as possible. Lessons, many of them hard to face, continue to be learned. Eventually, out of the devastation we are increasingly seeing signs of renewal. Whether or not we're directly involved in the rebuilding of a home, or a life, anywhere in the world, there is something all of us can do to support healing. The temptation is to think that maybe it's too late, maybe things are too far gone, too hard, too overwhelming. So whether a dire situation is grassroots or global, the overarching need is to overcome the temptation to give up.

One way people fight temptation is to keep well out of sight whatever it is they think is its source. Tearing up their credit cards, for instance, if they can't resist piling up a lot of debt. Or staying away from people or places they feel would be a bad influence on them.

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October 31, 2005

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