The bright lights of 2022

End-of-the-year picks for “best person of 2022” are rolling in – Time magazine chose Ukraine’s president – but something other than a person may signify the year in history. It is a unifying symbol seen in the most headline-grabbing events – the war in Ukraine and mass protests in Iran and China.

It is the use of light, a metaphor for freedom, to remind the oppressed that darkness is not a predetermined reality.

In Ukraine, where Russian missiles have knocked out power for millions, lighted candles have become the beacon of a victorious future. Ukrainians have also taken to writing poems, many with a theme of light. “The Russians can turn out the lights in our cities, but, right now, every person in Ukraine is a light,” Oleksandr Usyk, famed heavyweight boxer, told The Independent.

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