On my refrigerator is a sheet a paper called The Spectrum of Agony. It’s meant to help my family keep things in perspective when we feel like they aren’t going so well. It’s a line with a range of feelings from “extra stuff” to “tragedy”. Exams count as extra stuff. Grandma dying is a tragedy. The spectrum caught my eye this morning. Robin Williams’ death is a tragedy for not just his family, but for everyone. It’s so scary to think that a man who is so beloved was suffering so much that taking his own life (his alleged cause of death) was the only solution he felt would relieve him of his pain. His pain is gone. May he rest in peace. But ours remains.
Is there a recipe for hope? I’d like to think there is. People are hurting everywhere. Can we truly resolve their pain? Probably not. But everyone should make some effort to try. Everyone should care a little about other people. Smile at them. Say hello. Ask them how they are and really want to hear their response. Offer to help. Maybe even know where to direct them if their troubles are too big for you to handle. So my recipe for hope is humanity caring about humanity.
Here’s a poem about hope that you probably read in high school It’s by Emily Dickinson, another troubled soul. To Emily, “Hope” is a thing with feathers.
Let’s keep hope alive today.