Hope and Grace!

As we move into the New Year with its inevitably uplifting message of optimism, how should we use this memo to heal the feeling of despair that has been pervading us as we hear about yet another tragedy or a sickening display of hatred and racism or deal with the complete loss of faith in yet another leader or institution? Is just the turning of a clock’s dial from ‘17 to ‘18 enough to help us combat the sense of despondency created by prosaic occurrences like the rejection of an idea, an unachieved target or a turned down sales deal?

The amazing thing about human beings is that we are hard wired to hope. We get up every morning with the expectation of having a better day than the previous, we have children hoping that they will have a better life than we did, we go and meet clients for the 11th time yet again, thinking that now at last he will buy what I have to offer. The pretty girl smiling at us in the bus immediately unfurls an expectation of a romance, the next lottery ticket is most certainly going to change our fortunes forever and the start-up idea we have, will revolutionize the world and make us billionaires before our 29th birthday.

And maybe that is how it has to be. For what else can we do to contest the cacophony of doom and gloom around us? The more we get interconnected and plugged into the entire world, the more we bear witness to the atrocities happening in each corner of it. Staying in bed with blankets tucked firmly over our head, all senses closed to whatever is happening is certainly one option. The other then is to fan the flicker of optimism and allow it to burn brightly every day, jump out and embrace the world with hope in our heart and a song on our lips “Today will be better …”

And if sometimes the light feels as if it is dimming and nothing can help it shine brighter maybe it is worthwhile stepping outside of ourselves and looking at our planet in the same manner the Voyager did in 1990, and showed to all of us what it actually looks like? the “pale blue dot” hanging with such fragility in the Milky Way; like a tear drop, almost as if a flicker will wipe it away; and marvel at the miracle that has kept it there, so delicately poised so that billions of us can live, breathe, love and hate, fight and make up on that little pin point?

Is it an accident of fate, a physical juxta positional occurrence or an act of amazing grace by some higher being that has kept it stationed there against all odds and probabilities?

And maybe then we can use this moment to thank whichever gods that may be, for their grace and rekindle hope in all our hearts for mankind and for each one of us.

So as we begin 2018 all I wish for you is a heart full of hope and the grace of the universe. Let’s settle for that to start with!

Happy New Year!