[image description: A golden-eyed figure wears a wide-brimmed white fedora with a wide gold hat band and a light golden scarf just below the nose and across the mouth and chin. They sport a white Inverness Cape with its collar turned up over a white double-breasted suit. It’s hard to see them clearly in the bright light. Text reads, “126, The Light, The Small God who knows what goodness lives in the hearts of men.”]
C’mere, kid. I want to tell you a secret.
Whoa, whoa, not like that! This isn’t one of those “strange man tells you something that you’re not supposed to share with your parents” situations. I want you to share this with your parents. I want you to share this with the whole world. You wanna be my prophet, you go right ahead. It’s not like most folks are gonna listen, but every so often, one of you people decides to try, and I’m always grateful, even if I don’t think there’s any point to it.
Okay. You with me? You listening? You cleaned your ears out recently? Because if you’re gonna be my prophet, I don’t want you to go around telling people I said something I didn’t. That’s happened to so many of my friends. They lay out one message, and folks pick it up and turn it into something terrible, into some sort of cudgel to beat people with. And that’s not what I’m about.
Okay. You’re good? Then here you go. This is the secret, this is the essential thing I wish you over-important primates would hammer through your heads, this is what matters:
People are essentially good, and essentially the same, everywhere you go. Optimism isn’t shallow, and being a happy person doesn’t make you a fool. You’re allowed to irrigate and plant flowers in your heart. That won’t make you weak. It won’t make you irresponsible, or petty. Be joyous. Find your light and nurture it, and once it’s strong and healthy enough to light up your room, open the windows and share it with the people around you.
There’s a lot of shadow in a lot of folks. A little light can help to beat it back, and can bring us a better world. All of us, not just the divine, and not just the damned.
Do your part, prophet or no. Nurture and protect your joy.
Artist Lee Moyer (13th Age, Cursed Court) and author Seanan McGuire (Middlegame, Every Heart a Doorway) have joined forces to bring you icons and stories of the small deities who manage our modern world, from the God of Social Distancing to the God of Finding a Parking Space.
Join in each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many tiny divinities: