Seeking Hope in a Crazy World

I have begun reading “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl. The byline on the book reads “The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust”.
I am not a long way in yet and don’t have any insights from the book at this time but wish to share an observation made by the author in his Preface to the 1992 Edition.

“I do not at all see in the bestseller status of my book an achievement and accomplishment on my part but rather an expression of the misery of our time: if hundreds of thousands of people reach out for a book whose very title promises to deal with the question of a meaning to life, it must be a question that burns under their fingernails”.

 

When Frankl originally wrote his book it was not long after his repatriation from a concentration camp. He wrote it anonymously at first as he wished to offer his observations on maintaining hope in the face of utter hopelessness as a testament to what he had learned during his years of suffering.

Little has changed since that time.
Many in this world are still seeking hope as the world steadily becomes crazier and crazier and descends into madness.
In this age of instant gratification and the speed in which news is delivered to the world, it is no surprise that people are suffering from mental illnesses such as anxiety, stress and depression leaving many to see that the only way out is to give up and end their own struggles.
Just today, I have read news headlines such as “Woman beaten to death in home”, “Rapper identified as executioner”, “Armed trio behind spate of holdups” or “Droughts are world’s costliest disasters” – and that’s just in the Australian newspapers. I could harness any number of world newspapers just by searching Google.
When we are bombarded day by day with news of wars, rapes, famines, epidemics, natural disasters, murder and corruption is it any wonder, that we reach out for hope?

There is much to be said about becoming ‘unplugged’ and allowing ourselves to just ‘be’ and spending time in conversation with others or reading books, or sitting in the sun, or listening to the sounds of the world around us. There is much to be said about being still. It is in doing these things that we find peace – and hope.

When I was a teen, I wrote a poem that is just as relevant to me today as it was back then.

Looking Out
So I look around at the world
with it’s hustle and bustle
and
screaming and riots
and
wars and death
and
life and computers
and
technology
and
everything comprehensible
and incompreshensible
and

then I wonder –
Where do I fit in?

I am but a speck of dust in this cosmic mess we call life.
However, I am a speck of dust with hope.
Because without hope, we are lost.

A friend of mine recently wrote a blog post in which she stated that depression comes from lack of hope and fear that things will not get better. She is right. Depression is certainly a side effect of fear and lack of hope. Unfortunately it compounds these feelings and magnifies them as well. We need to learn to rediscover hope for the future.

I think it was Dolly Parton that spoke the following words:
Rainbow-webI believe that hope is the expectation that the rainbow is going to come out after the rain. Depression will tell you that you are in a tropical low rain ‘depression’ right now and that the rain will just keep on coming until it floods and causes havoc. Depression will tell you that there is no such thing as a rainbow.
Depression is aΒ  big fat liar.

Our world is filled with beauty. It is filled with hope.
My prayer is that those suffering right now, take the time each day to look for just one thing that is beautiful in their world.
It could be the butterfly outside your window.
It could the wind on your face.
It may even be the sound of the rain on your roof.
Within beauty lies hope.
And when we have hope, then we can fight another day.

 

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50 thoughts on “Seeking Hope in a Crazy World

  1. Beautifully written, and very inspirational. No matter how dark the clouds appear and how long the rain lasts, there is always hope. There will always be a break in the clouds and the storms will cease. No storm lasts forever.

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  2. Very well said! Beautiful post my friend. When a person is in the depths of depression, they cannot imagine that there is any hope. I know because I have been there. But that feeling is not correct–there is always hope and my prayer for those who suffer from depression can see a glimmer of hope and let it grow as they see the beauty surrounding them, taking their thoughts away from those things that have them depressed.

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  3. As I was reading this my heart began to be still Suz. I was going to say to you that I really needed to read this today (again) I think we should read this everyday Suz.
    And then I stumbled across something you said that was familiar – and I burst into tears.
    Love you babes.
    The cycle must be broken – and to do that we have to remove ourselves right? AS you suggest here by being still and unplugging…
    Thank you.

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      1. πŸ˜€ Cool like that Suz. Always hope friend… and – always time to slow down and JUST BREATHE right?
        Thanks again – been a better day unraveling and refocusing (busy – but better)

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  4. I learned to have hope when I quit watching the *news*. Thanks for the pep talk,and the reminder that there is always hope, even when our brain is telling us there isn’t.

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  5. Well said Suz. Personally I think that a lot of hope comes from faith. i also believe that depression is at least partially a function of a chemical imbalance in the brain. How that malfunction is created could be partially by a lack of faith or by other factors as well. Great post.

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    1. Thank you Paul. Regardless of what we believe causes depression it occurs. Part of the challenge we face in life is learning how to live with it and I believe that having hope and looking for beauty assist in this.

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  6. I really appreciate the fighting words against depression knowing something of how fierce a battle that one’s been for you, many seasons, S. And I really took to the book by VF in high school. You brought to mind a post of mine. So I don’t obligate you to read the post, here’s a clip, if I may ~

    I’ve thought hard, blogging the past year, about what keeps us shuffling forward on the journey. Hope. Without it, tomorrow is nothing and will close in on today. I disagree that love is man’s greatest longing. Unless you’re Daddy Warbucks, all your love for me won’t keep food on my table and put my son through college. Hope is the picture we paint in our head of ourself and those we cherish in a better place..But it’s a deeper kind of hope we nurse. Assurance of redemption, that our sighs and disappointments will not merely lead out to fresh air that makes the vault of our past feel like a bad dream. But that we will one day see – whether in this life or the next – the storyline behind our sufferings. We want to see the writing on the walls of our despair, know that we didn’t live senseless years. We pray God or whatever we trust in will make right the wrongs, show mercy for the ones we commit and vindicate us where we suffer. I hate waste, of time especially, and remind myself of what’s become a popular aphorism. I don’t want to waste my sufferings. I listen for the lessons they have for me. Onward and upward? My God makes this possible because He wastes nothing.

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    1. Yes Diana, the words were written from a person who knows depression and its effect not just on myself but on those I love.
      I agree with your words. There needs to be hope in this world and I would trust that our suffering is not in vain. Thank you for your wise words and for sharing them. πŸ™‚ ❀

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