There's always hope.
It’s July, 2020 and COVID-19 is spreading its tentacles across the world in ways none of us have ever witnessed before. This contagious disease doesn’t discriminate. It reminds us, albeit in a cruel and confronting way, that we are all human beings; we feel, smile, cry and suffer in the same way. My ethnicity, my religion, the amount of money I have, my status, my political beliefs – all that ‘stuff’ doesn’t mean a brass razoo as far as the virus is concerned. This is the message it is trying to spread (pun intended) – THAT WE ARE ALL THE SAME!! COVID may seem cruel but sometimes our best teachers take on shapes and forms we could never have imagined. The COVID teacher is a wake-up call. It’s showing us what spiritual teachers have been trying to make us humans understand for thousands of years – just like me, you want to be happy. Just like me, you don’t want to suffer – you’re just like me!
Look at how scientists from all over the world are collaborating to come up with a vaccine. This type of collaboration is unprecedented. Kind people are putting themselves forward as volunteers as they start human trials with these vaccines. It reminds us that while there’s life, there’s hope. Political leaders are realising that what will get them our respect and what will get them re-elected are attributes like empathy, kindness, generosity and compassion for the plight of others.
Do you remember the Greek mythological story of Pandora’s box? Pandora opened a box she wasn’t supposed to and out came all these horrible, evil things – disease, famine, natural disasters, wars, hatred etc but there was something else that was also released from the box, and that, my friends, was HOPE. Without it we are doomed. If we can’t imagine a brighter, better future for ourselves and others, then is there any point in going on?
Out of Pandora's Box also came hope.
There’s a NETFLIX series that I am currently watching called The Kindness Diaries (Season 2). This English guy called Leon drives an old VW Beetle from Alaska to Argentina. He has a couple of camera men with him but he has no money at all. He relies on the kindness of strangers to eat, find accommodation, fill up the car with fuel and fix “Kindness 2” when she breaks down. He even relies on the kindness of an airline company to fly him and his car from one country to another so he doesn’t have to drive through a dangerous country. It has to be one of the best Netflix series I’ve ever watched – ever. After these individuals have shown Leon kindness, he completely surprises them by rewarding them with a life changing gift. This is where things get really interesting and people’s lives are changed in ways they could never have imagined. Leon gives the gift of hope. Talk about paying it forward! It’s amazing. Don’t miss this series. It will change the way you look at your fellow human beings and it will give you hope as well as a determination to be the kindest version of yourself in order to best serve others. It’s all about seeing with our heart, not with our eyes.
Leon gives people the gift of hope.
The other thing that is giving me hope are two books I’ve read lately written by author friends. One is called Broken Past Heals Dreams by Joileen Mischel. This autobiography is about a girl who was abused by her father from the age of 4 to 17 but despite this, she never lost hope. Joileen clung to it like a lifeline and if she hadn’t she probably wouldn’t be with us today. She used story books to take her away to another, better reality and she imagined herself to be cared for and loved as all children should be. This story broke my heart but it also made me think that if Joileen can spread her message of hope to others through her book, then the suffering and cruelty she endured as a child hasn’t been for nothing. Where she is today is because of her resilience and the fact that she never lost sight of hope.
While there's life, there's hope.
The other book that has impacted me is called The Book of Hope – antidote for anxiety by Vicki Bennett. Vicki’s book is full of fantastic advice and wisdom that can help us all to lead better lives. It reminds me of a recipe book in a way because it’s full of useful tips and pearls of wisdom written by a woman who is now a grandmother and knows a thing or two about life. Someone can only write a book like this when they have the life experience to back it up. If not, it doesn’t feel authentic. This one does.
So my friends, please stay hopeful. Whatever happens, don’t lose hope. If you need support, then reach out. If you feel anxious, if you’ve lost your job, if your funds are running low, if you’re having to spend more time with family members than you would like, if you’re feeling emotionally vulnerable or anxious, remember – THIS TOO WILL PASS. Just like the collaboration of the scientists working tirelessly to come up with a vaccine for all of us, good things have and will come out of COVID-19. Consider the uses of adversity. Indeed, COVID is showing us that what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.
Take care. Stay safe.