A Reason for Hope 12/16/2012

28 12 2012

Author’s Note:  I wrote this as a journal entry in response to the recent events in Newtown. Bear this in mind as you read these words.

Anyone can look at the events of the last few days, weeks, months, and even years, and decide that the world is going to hell in a handbasket, as the saying goes.  I will not attempt to gloss over or ignore the sufferings and the evil circumstances that persist and exist in this world.  Because it is there.  I know that there are children being sent home from school each day, into unsafe homes of violence and hatred.  I know this because I was one of those kids at one time or another.  I know that there are people out there in relationships that are not healthy, supportive relationships, and instead are relationships that seek to control and dominate.  I know, because I have been in one of these.  There are people who are homeless, in my own town, starving and desperate for food and water, love even.  I know this because I have been among them.  And I yet still have an empty bedroom that could be filled by someone in need of a place to stay.  (What a certain kind of selfish evil!)  I know that there are people who spew hatred and judgement upon others before knowing them and using the name of “love” to disguise their hatred.  I know because I once was one of those people.  And now, I fight alongside of my brothers and sisters against this hatred and judgement, because I am one of them.  I know that there are selfish people, because I have experienced the results of the selfishness of people.  I know there is war and violence, only because I experience war in my personal relationships with others, sometimes permanently, and sometimes temporary.  I cannot gloss over the evil and the horrific events of the past times, because these are the realties of the life I know and live.

However, I cannot permit myself to dwell upon these terrible moments because the simple fact remains, they do not make up who I am.  They are a part of me, sure, but not the whole.  In the same way, we cannot do the same for the world, because I believe there are still some significant bursts of light to be found.  One of the biggest truths and bursts of light I can find is that there is always a reason to hope.  Wait, how can I say that?  How can this be, when the lives of our very children and teachers are attacked so violently?  Simply put, I can see hope because hope is what I have learned from all of my experiences.

As long as there is violence in one home, a single, individual home, there will always be violence in our schools and in our world.  As long as there is a war between individuals, the nations will rage with fury.  As long as there is hunger in one home, there will be hunger around the world.  See, the world, our society, is just a bigger manifestation of the same troubles we have within our souls.  In society, it’s just harder to hide these ills.  Individuals can cover secrets.  Once a secret is known between few, it spreads like wildfire.

So, as long as two people remain at odds, so will all of society.  Which this means that as individuals, we have a sense of personal responsibility to each strife, because it is it, but our inner struggle, just externally?  We cannot condemn any of it, because in doing so, I would condemn that singular part of myself.  For example, as I mentioned before, I used to cast judgements upon other groups of people.  I have since renounced my ways.  The fact remains, I cast judgements upon those who have an eating disorder.  Why, I don’t know.  I am ashamed of this fact, because I now understand.  In fact, I take a look in the mirror everyday and see about a billion things I would change about myself each day.  Nothing really separates me from them, because thoughts are sometimes just as bad as actions.  Everyone struggles with how they look from time to time.  To condemn their behavior would be to condemn my own daily ritual of not liking how I look.  So I cannot do that.

You could be resigned to hopelessness.  Instead, I offer a solution.  On the individual, personal level, these solutions will take time to implement, but I think it would greatly change the way we see the world.  Maybe, if I offer these solutions, enough people will hear what I have to say, and start doing it.  Maybe if I start living these solutions out, it will begin to make a difference in my own life.  But that’s a really daunting goal, isn’t it?  To change the hearts and personal relationships of people everywhere.  It seems like an impossible task.

Wait, the subject of this is “A Reason for Hope,” not “Changing the World.”  Changing the world is not a hopeful scenario.  That’s true.  Again, not glossing over the audacity of the task or pretending that it’s an easy one.  THe difficulty of the task is not the point here, but the possibility of the greatness of the success of the task.  Imagine, if you will, what it would be like if one of the most major struggles of your life were to be no longer an issue.  All the kinks are worked out, and all of the unhealthiness is worked out.  This is not magic.  I’m not proposing an instant solution here.  But take a relationship, work on it, and make it healthy and alive again.  How much would that bleed over into your other relationships?  Would people be inspired to do so in their own lives?  What would it be like to know that you are actively making a difference in the lives of those around you?  How relieving would it be to know that these abuses are now no longer plaguing you.

That wonderfulness….the joy of being without that shackle of pain and unhealed strifes….that’s the reason for hope.  The possibility of what could be…that’s what I hope for.

The vision of such goodness, that is the reason to hope.  That is a life that is lived to the best of your ability.  The peace that is found when all the fights of your life are solved and over, that kind of lifestyle, you will not be too eager to depart from.  It could change your whole outlook.  And the wisdom of these actions, you’ll not be hesitant to share.  What would it look like?

That is a reason for hope.  Because once a group attains this, it may change the whole world.

I challenge you to seek to end all of the wars you have between others.  I challenge you to repair relationships so that you can move forward in a healthy way.  This does not always mean that you have to continue with a relationship, but get to a point where bitterness and regret is no longer in your vocabulary.  I challenge you to express love, even if it’s unrequited.  Commit yourself to remaining healthy for those around you.  Live the best life you can.  The rest will work itself out.