Saturday, April 30, 2011

What I Loved Best About the Royal Wedding

Surprisingly, it wasn’t her gown or his uniform or the two balcony kisses, though I certainly took immense delight in all those elements. No, in the end, I have to admit that what I loved most was simply the overall happiness, the much-needed joy, however fleeting, that the Royal Wedding brought to so many people around the world.

Yes, I’m one of those who cared and couldn’t get enough of it. (I feel the complete opposite about the Charlie Sheen saga.) But I’ve heard others wonder how anyone could possibly care about it with all the horrors plaguing the world lately. They think the Royal Wedding should not matter.

I’m acutely aware of the wars, the earthquakes, the tornados, the wildfires, the economy, the gas prices, the ominous sense that civilization as we know it is circling a giant drain threatening to suck us all into the dark sewers of hell. I’ve definitely had more than enough of these terrible things. Yet I dare not ignore them, as that could mean the difference between going down that drain or keeping a grip, however tenuous, on the rim of the bowl.

But if I can’t ignore the bad news, then why should I ignore the good? Indeed, why would I want to? The Royal Wedding is a rare bright spot, a single beam of light shining through the otherwise fathomless dark. How can I not go toward that light?

Many see the Royal Wedding as a waste of money, a frivolous sideshow that serves no purpose except to needlessly glorify a small group of undeserving people, who got where they are thanks to ancestors who ransacked castles, stole land, and chopped off heads. Valid point taken.

But at its core—its heart—are two young people willing to join hands and go forward not so much with hope, but with faith that a better, brighter future awaits, and is theirs for the forging if only they seize the opportunity to do so. Who gets married with the idea that it’s not going to do anyone any good, or even make any sort of difference? Ordinary people get married every day, but this is a time when high-profile nuptials like William and Catherine’s offer a welcome reminder to everyone.

I love the Royal Wedding for much the same reason I enjoy romance novels. They’re positive. They lift the heart. And in a world where so much is negative, where so many hearts and spirits hang heavy, why shouldn’t we turn to whatever it takes to lift them—and so motivated, ultimately lift ourselves out of the drain and safely over the rim of that bowl?

Taken at face value, it certainly seems as if the Royal Wedding doesn’t matter in a world awash with strife and sadness. But when one considers how many hearts and spirits it’s raised in a way nothing else has lately, it’s hard to deny that it does, in fact, matter a lot.