When I wrote my post yesterday about the great divide, the example in the forefront of my mind of a writer who still sees the abundance of good in spite of the abundance of evil was Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. This man grew up never knowing his father (his father had died before his birth), as a young man believed Soviet propaganda about the USSR building a new society, until a critical comment about Stalin in a letter to a friend thrust him into the reality of the Gulag. And after surviving the Gulag, he survived a brush with stomach cancer.
The surprising thing is despite the depressing circumstances of Soviet prisons and/or cancer he discusses in his books, his writings are filled with optimism. Not foolish optimism, he knows happiness isn't just around the corner. But he believes that being good is still possible, that we can each choose to be truly human, a "tiny fragment of [our] own people", or a reflection in this life of eternity.
The news today is he passed away at the age of 89, from either a stroke or heart failure.