Flickering Candle of Hope

red-candle

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world,” –The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare.

We live in a dark world, my friends.

The greatest of darkness A single candle in the darkest room still provides a little bit of light to prevent the darkness from completely taking over. Even when the night is overwhelming, the smallest bit of light can guide us to a place of peace and safety. This represents the one thing in life that can light our own path when things seem too dark.

Hope.

Hope isn’t certainty. It isn’t built on the definitive knowledge that things will turn out all right. Hope is the assumption that the bad of life will eventually go away. It is the idea that the clouds of a storm will dissipate and give way to a sunny day. We all strive for this concept of an eventual positive outcome despite everything stacked against us in our lives. We need hope to get through the darkest parts and periods of our existence.

The problem? Hope is so hard to come by these days, and it’s incredibly hard for most of us to create when the darkness of life is so overwhelming.

Some people are eternal optimists. Sitting in a pitch black black room, those individuals stay positive that the room will soon find illumination. No matter what hardships they find in their day to day lives, they are able to keep faith that their outcomes will eventually find improvement. I applaud those people who can keep hope alive no matter what they encounter in life.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the built in rose colored glasses like that.

Hope, for the realists and pessimists, is something that has to be worked for. The realists will want to hope in every situation but are aware that not every situation can be illuminated so easily. They understand when situations are beyond hope. For us pessimists, just admit it if you are, hope is a strange concept. Bad things happen so often in this world that it’s quite difficult to see beyond the dark times. I’ve found that it is honestly much easier to stay with the bad and understand it than to let go of the security of sadness and look to the positive hope. Hello Darkness, my old friend. I know the darkness. I’ve learned how to find my way through it. I don’t know what the world can offer if the world is illuminated. Darkness is certain; hope is walking on air and hoping not to fall.

Still, we need hope.

We know this all too well. Despair and hopelessness keep the world from turning. We need to believe that things can get  better so we keep striving for them to get better. If we want life to get better, we have to believe it can.

Can things in life get better than they are? Well, I don’t know the answer to that question.

But, we can hope.

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