Reason for Hope
I had a friend ask me yesterday why I have decided to share the challenges my family and I have faced over the last couple of years through creating this blog.
Without any condemnation or judgment he simply told me that he would be too embarrassed to share his personal failings and struggles with people that may turn around and criticize him for his public admissions. After our conversation, I asked him if it would be okay to use our discussion in the introduction to this post. He kindly obliged and here you go.
I used to be extremely embarrassed about going through bankruptcy and the many hardships we have faced along the way. I have always been self-reliant and proudly self-employed. I considered myself to be someone that people could go to for help rather than someone that needed to be helped, and then everything changed.
Like many of the struggles we face in life, mine has been an eye opening, pride swallowing experience. I can’t necessarily compare my challenges to those that other people face, my only contextualization has come from my own state of mind; where I was compared to where I am now. It’s through that emotional context that I have been able to relate to other people and their challenges.
The reason that I have decided to blog about my experiences is twofold, one it is cathartic for me to do so. There is truly an emotional release that occurs after I write down my experiences. It’s like slowly releasing air out of a tire. The second is by sharing my experiences I have discovered that all people are dealing with some kind of a challenge. I remember driving down the road one day and I saw this family at a stop light, as I watched them I thought, “They really have their act together. They’re not a complete failure like me.” Upon reflection however, I realized that I had become extremely good at hiding my problems. I had put on a happy face and hid behind this mask so that people wouldn’t really know what was going on with me. Maybe this family was good at doing the same. The true problem is that we have been conditioned to hide. We not only hide our challenges, we hide the life lessons we’ve learned through enduring those challenges that we all face in life. I decided I was going to throw it out there; I’m tired of wearing the mask. If describing my challenges and the lessons I’ve learned helps someone else then it’s worth it. If it doesn’t resonate with them in some way they’ll quickly become bored and move onto something else.
It’s my contention, that especially in the challenging times we live today, people need hope. That hope is not going to come through some loud mouthed politician telling us that some proposed new bill is going to make a difference, or watching countless hours of television in a mind numbing attempt to simply be entertained out of our challenges.
The solution although difficult is very simple; take responsibility for own lives and realize that our lives, our very futures, are what we choose to make them. Secondly, serve one another. Hope is fostered when people know that they are cared about by other people.
The world is an incredibly challenging place. The moorings of safety that we all long for have been washed away. That does not mean that hope is lost, it means that we must choose to be hopeful! Tomorrow is new day, no blemishes, no scares; it is what we choose to make of it. We must choose to seize the day; we must choose to seize the moment.