I remember growing up around a lot of sloganeering. As a child of the 21st century, our generation no doubt has witnessed significant political upheaval with its accompanied slogans to ensure we are heard.
One slogan which was not so often used but I got exposed to due to my love for black history in the United States is “keep hope alive”. Rooted in the Black Consciousness movement and the Civil Rights in the United States, Jesse Jackson said famously “ hold your head high, stick your chest out. You can make it. It gets dark sometimes, but morning comes. Keep hope alive”.
I intentionally remind myself to do this during this time of the year as one is often overwhelmed with too many challenges. You look back on the year and so many of your life goals are yet to be kick started. The newspapers greet you with news of doom and gloom – car accidents, a record drought and not a drop of rain in sight ! If only it would rain, I would be so happy. I need it to rain because nothing lifts the spirit of Namibians like the smell of fresh rain, no matter how limited they are in millimetres. So I look to the skies and hope. My life goals which remain untouched – eish we will get there.
At least I remain hopeful.
But what is hope ? Is it a magic wand of sorts that you wave around and mysteriously your wishes become true. Is it something you do or do you sit on a cloud and envision better days. It is said that “ man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, eight minutes without air but only one second without hope’.
So it sounds to me like hope is the oxygen of the soul. Without it, people don’t get up in the morning. They don’t persevere when their conquest is just around the corner. They walk around with sloughing shoulders and they breathe heavily.
But what can really be so bad in your world ? I vividly remember watching the people of Louisiana in Mississippi after the recent floods where they lost almost all their earthly belongings. Nevertheless, through tears you watch a community rise to assist each other and cleaning out their homes. One has to wonder what capacity it requires for that person to bounce back. Is it hope or lunacy that makes them do that ?
Guess is has to be hope which resonates a belief that things will be better. In fact, one resident said “ but I always wanted a new home” and now she will get one when the reconstruction process starts.
Hope is not dependent on favourable circumstance. Hope never fails, it doggedly believes and holds on no matter how dark the day. It has something audacious to it; one that confounds conventional wisdom.
So as the end of the year approaches, use the energy and momentum that hope provides to go out and there and tackle your dreams. And I remain hopeful for rain, I can almost smell it.