When I think about the sufferings in this world, I am inclined to be discouraged, to be despondent, and to cry in my heart. The pain is unbearable. The hurt is deep. At times, you feel like giving up and letting the world go to waste. It's that raw and hopeless to be honest.
But then, this is against the blueprint of life, the DNA of human thriving. We overcame not because we are hopeless creature prone to suicidal thoughts and nihilism. We overcame because being alive is the greatest reason for living. The fact that we are not six feet under forces us to think about how what little we can contribute can make a difference in the lives of others. That's the privilege of living and should never be taken for granted.
Here's where I go off a little. Honestly, how many of us are grateful when we finish doing our toilet business in the morning and we turn around to reach out for the toilet roll, we find an abundant supply of it? Imagine that you are in a rush and then discover to your horror that you have ran out of toilet paper. For me, one of the most dreaded situations is to be left hanging with grease in your bottom and having no way to clean it up! My point here is blue sky. Let me explain.
This rainy season is very much dreaded because of the mischievous rain; it is more than a wet blanket sometimes. I am a jogger and rain is a bane to running. But then, the rain, even continuous heavy downpour, is the only reason to hope for a sunny day thereafter or eventually. The aphorism, "sunshine after the rain", is most apt here. So, hopelessness is a prelude to hope just as pain is a prelude to growth.
This is my point: what good is the sunshine or blue sky if there's no rain for comparison? So, drawing on the toilet paper parallel, what good is a full supply of it without once in a while experiencing the dreaded consequences of a used up toilet roll? I know I sound silly or frivolous but it is no less relevant.
Here's the gist of it. Life is difficult. No one can change that. But it is surely not hopeless. And that is a positive change of event that you can always count on. Let me now go to the heart of it all.
I woke up one morning with my two year old cuddling up to my body. She usually prefers her mother as she is still being breastfed. But this exceptional morning, she came up to me, cuddled up in my arms, and expected me to hug her tight. It was really unprecedented. It was a heart thawing experience.
Against all the angst I have of the cruelty of humanity, the pain of innocent suffering and the hopelessness of a fallen world, I have a baby who wholly depends on me. She literally cannot live without me. To her, I am her everything. This is why I say it is no less relevant because this is one life amongst others that I can shape, mold and change for the better. I can make a difference in her life. And that's a privilege of aliveness; that's the hope of living.
In a nutshell, the hope of living is the definite hope that what seems hopeless at first is but passing dark clouds, which merely hides the sunshine from our view. It is therefore not an irreversible solar burial of the sun but just a temporary covering of it.
So, here's what I would holler out at the mountaintop: Be hopeful! We find hope in many things around us. Even the most trivial, and sometimes silly (erm...like that toilet paper thingy), reminds us of how alive we are and this simple realization should make all the difference in our life.
I refuse against my most natural morbid instinct to give up hope, or give in to hopelessness, because to do so is to be dying inside while pretending to live outside. I think it takes infinitely more energy to pretend to live than to live unpretentiously.
I know I can make a difference and however trivial, I can do it. That makes a difference in my life and the lives of others. This is my hope and it makes life worth living.
That being said, being hopeful, or choosing to be hopeful, I am nevertheless not a sandcastle-in-the-sky optimist (or one suffering from panglossian cluelessness). I am aware that for every reason to be happy, I have at least five or more reasons to be unhappy. I repeat: Life is difficult. It has always been. And it will not cease to be just because I have hope.
But still, I choose not to see that my effort and labor are in vain. I choose to see every struggle bearing its fruits in due season. I choose to see a blue sky after a thunderstorm. I choose to see an ample supply of toilet paper waiting for me.
I see hope in my dreams, in my words and in my actions. Most of all, I see hope blossoming once in a while when my baby huddles by my side, smiles and whispers, "I love you daddy."
These are precious moments I save up for a rainy day. This is my hope against a future tainted by dread. And most relevantly, it is said that we are given a second chance always, and it is called tomorrow. And I will live today for tommorow because regardless of what happens today, I have tomorrow to make things right. Cheerz!