New day, new hope
I am daily thrilled by the many apps on my smartphone. My most recent app is called Kakao Talk and every day I exchange text messages (sometimes with pictures) with my daughters and closest friends near and far ― especially far, as this app makes it possible to do international texting which I can’t otherwise do with my phone.
I noticed lately that I tend to bolster myself at the beginning of a day by sending out encouraging short words via this app. These days, I repeat these words; new day, new hope. Maybe, I am the one who needs to be reminded of that simple truth.
One of my favorite writers, Barbara Kingsolver, shares her thoughts on hope in her book, ``Animal Dreams.” ``The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance, but live right in it, under its roof.”
Living inside of a hope. Living right in it. Living under the roof of hope. Can we see this happening in real life? The other day, I read in the New York Times a story about 60 people connected to one random kidney donor in California, Rick Ruzzamenti. Evidently, even if a family member is willing to donate a kidney to a patient waiting for a kidney transplant, it is not necessarily compatible.
As reported in this story, a family member agrees to donate a kidney to someone outside the family who happens to be a match in exchange for another kidney that’s a perfect match for his or her family member. Somehow one person was inspired to make a donation that was not linked to any family member, and this led to a donation ``chain” in which 30 patients received, and 29 family members donated, kidneys.
I was thinking about all those kidney patients on the waiting list to receive good news of a healthy compatible organ. Can they live even one day if they did not greet each new day without new hope that this day may be the day they will get a matching kidney?
In the situation of any sickness and injuries and infirmities and dying, we cannot sustain a single moment of living without the propping of others instilling us with hope. When we are hurting, physically or otherwise, we need loving family and friends. Their concern and fussing over us help us not to lose hope. That somehow we will deal with it together. I see the seeds of hope growing.
One of the fun things we have been doing for the past 16 months since our return to the States after fourteen years of life in Asia is to re-acculturate by catching up with Masterpiece Theater from the BBC and other TV series that we missed while living abroad. Most recently we enjoyed the series “Brothers and Sisters”.
More than 100 episodes weave stories about family ups and downs, hurts and healings, along with joys and sorrows. One thing that makes these episodes very uplifting is that there is always hope coming from ultimate love doing its work among the hearts of the siblings. They do live inside hope. They live under the roof of hope and love.
In January this year for two weeks, we traveled in Egypt. Some of our family members and friends questioned the wisdom of our trip in that politically unstable country. We did it anyway and we came away with new hope for that country of ancient civilization.
Of course, it will take time to iron out all the glitches and undesirable remnants of 30 years living under the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak. Of course, young people there are impatient. They want a democratic system right now. The Egyptians won’t be able to sustain patience any length of time without the glimmer of hope that down the road, they will have a political system that is fair and just.
Nelson Mandela must have been able to endure long years of imprisonment in South Africa sustained by the hope that someday he would see his country arriving at racial harmony and decency.
Koreans must carry on with everyday life always having the hope of seeing a reunited Korea and never weakening because of what the immediate reality is showing.
Our parents’ generation was able to keep going even with many odds against them such as limited resources after the 1950-53 Korean War because they never lost hope that one day their future generation would take their torch and run with it to their goal of seeing a united Korea. Current generations cannot drop the torch. There are miles to go before we sleep. Hope will assist us to sustain the strength and resolution to reach even a better Korea.
What we are witnessing right now in the national arena, at work places, at home and in our individual relationships may be quite bleak, but it is not time to despair. Human beings always rallied and continue to rally. Hope is a waking dream, as Aristotle said. We can look to that dream of hope stirring up in our hearts to keep running the race for better days ahead. Today is a new day. I am maintaining new hope. Are you?
Hyon O'Brien is a former reference librarian now living in the United States. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.