I don’t know what I expected from an around-the-world flight . . . but it wasn’t this. On my flight from California to Australia, it has been dark for more than 16 hours. I remember the sun setting. It was around 5 PM. Since that moment, it has remained the darkest of nights.

Well, fine, I’ll be honest. I know that the plane is not surrounded by a coal-black sky. But here inside the plane, it is dark. All windowshades are sealed shut, and the stewardesses are desperate to convince us that it’s time to sleep. For all intents and purposes, it is nighttime.

At this very moment the sun is shining, but we don’t see even a hint of its glow.

And why would we want to? We, the people of the plane, are content. Our eyes have adjusted; we have acclimated to the darkness. Some of us are dozing, and the alert among us are happily entertained by their self-powered devices.

“Sit It has been dark for more than 16 hoursdown,” the stewardesses smile, as they lure us with boxed meals and orange juice. “Relax, and you won’t even miss the sun.”

And we almost don’t. It is peaceful up here, 50,000 feet above the earth. We could almost forget that this is not the way that things are meant to be.

We are trapped in a cage of blackness, while the sun begs to warm our skin and light our lives. If only we would look outside.

It happens on the ground, too, you know? Just in a different way. We go about our lives. We get used to the rush. The darkness. The deceit that we so often encounter. We grow accustomed to the necessity of stretching truth and limiting kindness for our own protection.

We don’t even realize that this is not the way things are meant to be. That we must fight the darkness, not get used to it. That we must strive to pry open the shutters and reveal the light. And that every tiny bit of light chases away an abundance of blackness.

It is akin to an allegory of old, in which a few families are thrown into a pit due to their inability to pay rent. They construct beds and chairs from mud and straw, and pray for freedom. They make do, but pine to see their homes once more. They whisper memories of a better life into the ears of their sons and daughters.

Their We must fight the darkness, not get used to itchildren grow up having never seen trees. Having never felt grass beneath their feet. They grow older thinking that this is life. That the color scheme of the world is brown, black and gray. That the most comfortable bed in the world is one of straw. As these kids grow, they smile pityingly at the delusions of their parents.

And that? That is true exile. When the prisoner does not even know that he is incarcerated.

But there is life beyond the pit, and there is a sun shining outside this plane, and there is a utopian world waiting for us to reveal it.

There awaits a light and a life that is more vibrant than anything we can imagine. We need not get used to the dark realities of the world. We must fight them with light. One action at a time. One more dollar for charity. One more smile for the downhearted. One more visit to a sick friend.

I just peeked outside my window.

It’s brilliant.