Chapter 8 of the new book I'm working on is entitled HOPE. I had just started writing it when a friend came to visit. He sat down on the chair in front of my computer while I took a rest from sitting and got comfortable on my bed. Straight away we began a conversation about the miserable state of the world. Corruption, pollution, ignorance – all the usual suspects.
At some point my friend sighed and stared at the computer screen.
“Hope?”, he wondered, as he read the headline of the page. “No, there ain't no hope.”
I looked at him and could see the indifference and emptiness in his eyes. Deep and dark despair that covered up even the brightest sunlight. Everyone who has felt similar before knows that this kind of hopelessness is not fun at all. A feeling that everything will get worse, that there's nothing good to come. A bit like giving up on the future.
Some days are just like that and probably it's best to simply accept them as they are. However, the dangerous thing is to feed the dark despair and thus staying in a downward spiral. The human being is quite good at this type of self-torture, diving head first into one's own misery. And while we're busy painting everything black we forget that we always have a choice...
Here's an example of my own life: Sometimes I also feel disillusioned with all the greed, poison and exploitation in the world. Then I suddenly remember that I need to buy some food and without giving it any further consideration I head to the big supermarket. And guess what? After twenty minutes in the shopping factory I feel even worse! It's as if my inner darkness had been looking for a match in the outside world.
There are other times when I choose a different experience. Instead of feeding the darkness, I take a deep breath and consciously refuse to play this destructive game. So instead of going to the big supermarket I head to a small organic shop. And when I come out of there, the world looks much brighter again. Always! I can't remember a single time that I've left a small organic shop feeling depressed. It just doesn't happen – for darkness can't survive in light.
Long story short: To feel hopeful you have to help creating what you are hoping for. You want more natural food? Buy it. You want fairness? Support those who are fair. You want less pollution? Don't produce so much. You want generosity? Share what you have. You want peace in the world? Become peaceful yourself.