A new blogging friend, melodiousgarden posed the question: “What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?“
Something akin to a slide show of memories began to display in my mind’s eye as I reflected on the beautiful moments I have experienced in this life. There were so many. Which one to choose?
- Was my most beautiful experience in life to date witnessing the majesty of nature?
- Was it the smiles and laughter on the faces I loved?
- Was it the smile on the face of a recipient of an unexpected act of kindness?
- Was it being honored with the experience of being at a birth or death?
- Was it the images we all recognize as fine art?
- Was it one of my own images?
- Was it the peace that passes all understanding that I experience in meditation?
In the Buddhist tradition, hope and fear are elaborated into 8 Worldly Concerns, of which go like this:
“Hope for gain, fear of loss
Hope for pleasure, fear of pain
Hope for praise, fear of criticism or blame
Hope for fame, fear of infamy” – Hope and Fear in Blogging and Life
As I pondered the question a small place came to mind. Beauty maybe in the eye of the beholder and hope springs eternal in the human breast, but there are places and spaces where fear and despair dominate, and the common outlook is a pessimistic one, until the embers are stirred and hope lights hearts again.
Years ago I visited a small place in a remote and beautiful natural setting, where unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse had crippled a community. It was a place where generations lived in abject poverty, unable to find the path to recovery and healthy living.
Not long ago I visited that same place again. What a change! A remarkable turnabout occurred after one positively focused couple, a youth advocate and a recovery counsellor, begun to work with elders and youth.
The breakthrough came when the community came together to face their reality fearlessly and make a change in direction.
Hope is the most beautiful thing in the universe. Our hearts all yearn for a better tomorrow, but hope is not simply wishful thinking. Hope is ‘confident expectation in a change in direction’. Hope empowers us to be courageous. Courage is accepting reality even when one dislikes it. Courage is employing skillful means like taking steps to correct wrongs. — Hope, courage and strength
I have witnessed the bright candle of hope light up a dark corner of the world where misery prevailed and a downhill slide seemed inevitable. What I witnessed was a beautiful transformation from despair and negativity to hopefulness and a positive mindset. That transformation manifest first as single flicker of hope that lit up a whole community, where the youth of today will set bud, flower, fruit and sow the seeds for better times yet to come.
The universe and our world is ever-changing and I intend to be part of the change for good. I intend to let go my attachment to negativity when it comes to where mankind is headed. I have lit the candle of hope in my heart and won’t let the flame of positivity burn out.
Have you witnessed hope lead to positive change in your own life or in the lives of others?