H is for Hope
What a strange year. Global chaos, anxiety that has risen to engulf us, and for some turmoil and disease as the Coronavirus takes hold. Perhaps every generation has years where the future looks incomprehensibly bleak.
Yet there are glimmers of hope – of what is possible when people pool their resources and respond with compassion.
Stories of hope and courage – of neighbours helping neighbours and selfless acts of care and compassion, especially by those in the healthcare and emergency services. And it makes me think back to the amazing international response to rescue a huddle of Thai boys, who would have been doomed to die, if people had not been inspired by hope.
Light In The Darkness
Many years ago I visited the Sudwala Caves in South Africa, which also tunnel many miles into the bowels of the earth. There are caverns so huge that music concerts have been held underground.
When our tour group had walked some distance into the interior the guide warned us she would turn off the lights for a few minutes for us to experience the darkness.
We think we know what dark is. But unless you have been in that situation without even a twinkle from a star, you cannot comprehend a darkness that feels stifling in its totality.
So intensely black that nothing is visible. Not even your finger right before your face.
A cold fear begins to rise, even though you know this darkness is only temporary.
And then the guide lights a match.
The light of one little match flickers into the darkness.
I can see my hand. I can see my husband next to me. I can see the tour group members and the guide and the cave walls beyond. My anxiety melts away.
How amazing that in such extreme darkness the light from one little match can make such a difference.
Hope Lights The Dark
Yes, there is darkness.
And light dissipates darkness.
Every time you and I hate, fear, compete, attack, judge, separate—thus avoiding the necessary letting go—we are resisting the full flow of Love, the energy which is driving the universe forward. Richard Rohr 4/11/16
The famous rescue of the trapped Thai youngsters is a narrative of hope. Somehow those youngsters did not give up – they had hope. The task to rescue them seemed impossible – but those involved had hope.
Not a vague, wishy-washy hope – but a hope that takes action. A hope that makes the difference.
Collaborating. Cooperating. Drawing from collective wisdom. Ingenuity. Determination. Giving of oneself. Experiencing hardship and discomfort for the greater good. Taking action despite fear. Forgetting differences of religion and culture. Creating a different outcome.
Will we be light? Will we be hope?
Hope is what inspires us to keep going, to have courage, to find a solution, in our own families, in community, and at a global level.
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Mindfulness, hope, and compassion enable us to be resilient and function effectively even in the face of challenges (Boyatzis and McKee, 2005, p. 63)
So over to you.
Are you seeking a narrative of hope?
Who inspires you?
What stories inspire you?
How do you model hope in your own situation?