I took a few minutes out of my busy day this week to stop and help a man named Paul who was holding up a sign asking for help with gas. As we stood at the gas pump filling his gas can, he blurted out “This world is f**ked. Have you seen the presidential debates?”
I responded to him that yes I have been watching and I can understand why he feels that way. Paul went on to tell me that looking at the world in such chaos made him feel leaving the country would be the best choice.
I looked him in the eyes, and replied, “Hey! Leaving isn’t a solution. Don’t lose hope in our country. We are strong people, and we will get through these next four years regardless of who wins the election. We are just in a season of chaos, but we have to hold on to hope.”
As we continued our conversation over the next few minutes, he began to relax and while he was clearly in a hurry to get to Boise to deal with other issues affecting his life, he seemed less upset than when I first stopped to help him.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” ~ Desmond Tutu
In the past several months there has been a lot of ugliness and hate exposed in our country causing one of the greatest divisions among its citizens. I have watched as people who were friends are now at war with one another just because opinions differ. Debates between the candidates are nothing compared to the discussions arising between family and friends and it seems we have fallen into the trap of name calling, bickering, and hate just like those running for office.
It’s time to restore hope.
Whether we agree or disagree with someone on their views, it’s important to remember we all have opinions but just because those opinions differ from others should we be displaying the kind of toxic attitude that is destroying relationships? As we throw our temper tantrums like four-year-old children, who don’t want to play with one another, we are promoting division, destruction, and hate when we need to be showing respect, love, and hope.
It is perfectly fine and normal to disagree, and it is even okay to express our thoughts on why we do not agree but isn’t it possible to disagree and still show respect?
“At the end of the day all you need is hope and strength. Hope that it will get better and strength to hold on until it does.” ~ Jazmin Whitmore
Today, I choose hope.
Hope can bring stability in the storm and move us forward
Paul was definitely in the middle of a personal storm when I met him. The chaos of what is going on in our country right now magnified what he was facing as he headed home. By taking a few minutes out of my day, I was able to show him, that regardless of what situation he is going through, each day brings new hope and can keep us moving forward.
Hope can bring light during dark times
By the end of our conversation, Paul thanked me for stopping to help him. He had shared before I walked up, he wondered if anyone cared or if everyone was “like the politicians, and only out for themselves.” It’s important to remember if we take a few extra minutes during the day to look for opportunities, we have the ability to give hope to someone who feels hopeless in a world gone wrong.
Hope can be infectious
Soon the elections will be over, and we will be facing the holiday season, a time where there will be others facing challenging and desperate times. Many people like Paul will be looking for someone to take a minute or two out of their day and offer them hope. Hope in our country, in our community and humanity.
If each one of us could take a step back and make an effort to see the beauty in the world, instead of the ugliness, we can pass on hope to those who are looking for a reason, any reason, to face another day.