I look at the date of my last posting and cannot believe how long ago that was, nearly two months. Then, on 29 November I wrote, “Keeping Hope Alive” at the top of the next page in my journal. Now, this is the question, just how do we keep hope alive when things seem hopeless?
Today I was talking with a student about managing stress levels when there seems to be chaos all about. Many of us find ourselves living in a constant state of stress, including myself. We live in an uncertain world with unsettled politics in America as well as in many countries around the world, climate change threatens our planet, and civil liberties are at risk, to name a few omnipresent concerns. What to do? As I stop-pause, the reality and enormity of the problems surrounding us seems overwhelming. I STOP again, BREATHE-EXHALE and allow the air to return. Then I wait. Alas, there are no clear answers. In that short pause I realize that although I cannot change the world situations alone, I can accomplish change one step at a time in my own immediate surroundings. I can speak up for what I know is right. I can be active: I can write letters, call my representatives in Washington, and support organizations/groups that are working as watch dogs on our behalf. I can inhibit dwelling on what seems hopeless and substitute action to change what can be changed. I can be kind and take the time to see what is around me, including seeing especially those who may be in need and whom I might help. I can listen and I can speak out. The vastness of the job ahead of us can seem hopeless to accomplish, yet our job also is to work to KEEP HOPE ALIVE for all.
These times remind me of preparing for a recital. I would have to get “in the zone”, be focused, and concentrate on the job at hand. No distractions allowed! Imagine an athlete preparing for the Olympic games. This is my job now, to KEEP HOPE ALIVE and affect change as best I can. Stay focused, exhale, move forward one small step at a time and stay in this beautiful moment of NOW.