Health & Wellness

Cultivating Hope in depressed times

Cultivating Hope in depressed times

Drudging in mud, soil filling cracks in their hands and feet, migrant workers live on the periphery of uncertainty that makes them endure harsh conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and ensuing situations rendered labourers broken and defeated. As per National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) data, suicide among daily wage earners in 2020 was the highest.

A state of hopelessness is worse than hunger and poverty. The poet Paash, in his poem ‘Sab Toh Khatarnak’ has beautifully penned about the dangers of despondence. Hope is the vitality necessary for existence. Tragedy and suffering will make the universe look dark and gloomy. Past failures and disappointments will flash before our eyes, reminding the futility of our actions.

When the mind is weak, people fall prey to money-making scams and fraud. My family lost all of our savings when my parents desperately invested in fraudulent schemes. Consequential pain, depression, regret, despair, and cynicism that arose during that time in our family still live in our minds. The damage lingers, and for me, the outlook on the world, people, and myself have changed tremendously. It was a nightmarish time that taught tough lessons about life.

In conjuncture with the uncertainty prevailing in society, faith in the system has disappeared. The lack of resources to provide for health and food has created anguish in people. The bombardment of information on the internet lifted the veil of ignorance about misery and tragedy that had existed for centuries. Despite discouragement, people should work and dream for a better future. It is easier to lament the past or dread the future, but it is more difficult to absorb the current situation by forgetting the tensions and distractions. Those who bravely embrace hardships and do not surrender to fear should celebrate their victory over their minds.

A person should have the heart to accept disappointment, in the hope of achieving satisfaction one day. Hope is an anticipation of a conscious or subconscious desire or need that drives the organism towards the goal. Hope has the power to decrease fatigue and invigorate the individual.

A stable and calm mind can withstand difficult situations and bounce back to normalcy. The power of hope and collective endeavour is so enormous that it can move mountains and awaken the sleeping conscience in public. Imbalance and inequality in communities have met with revolts and revolutions. Unprecedented protests occurred in India after the Nirbhaya rape case, manifesting intolerance towards gender inequality. The farmer’s protest was successful in achieving its goal. Even though several other movements have been unsuccessful, development and change still occur.

Hope is a guiding light, and the rest is down to the efforts made by the person. If a person studies hard, he can surely pass the examination. Impatience should not lead to despair; karma should be done with patience.

People should never underestimate the power of imagination. The peers of Nikola Tesla rejected him, and Edison dismissed his ideas as fanciful. But he never gave up. He lived for his dreams, and never cared for money or patents. Due to lack of work, the great discoverer worked as a ditch digger for Edison’s company. The working conditions were so hard that it left him heartbroken. He did not have the money to build prototypes for his designs and apply for patents. Despite numerous betrayals, he did not give up. He had dreams and kept working on them till his last breath. He was never after money or fame, but worked for the joy of learning and discovering new things. He was called a “mad scientist” at the end of his life. The great inventor developed the alternate current, the radio, and made numerous other discoveries.

Srinivasa Ramanujan’s findings were ridiculed, but much of his work is used by mathematicians around the world. Money is crucial, but so is the meaning of life. An individual’s temperament and habits determine the fate of the person. The important step is accepting the problem, seeking support, and letting go. People are attached to the things around them, that they try to find ways to hold onto things, so much so that precious time and effort get lost in nothing.

Mountaineers who seek the purpose of life on isolated terrain understand that death awaits at each climb, and become conscious of the privilege of living. There are cracks, ditches, and crevices in life, and everyone goes through them. There is no way around it. Even the toughest and most powerful have to face them. Never stumble blindly towards fate; have the vision and courage to be a leader for yourself. People should not be slaves to facts and figures; there should be room for imagination and dreams. Numerous talented people are left unfound because they lack faith in themselves.

As change is the law of nature, and the world is not rigid or fixed, it is possible to change circumstances by willpower. There is nothing definite in the world. People do not know the date they will die, nor if they can get cancer. It is futile to live in despair when prophesied misery is not certain. If a person sees classmates getting higher marks than them on mock tests and believes that they will not be able to compete with the classmate on higher exams, they are limiting their opportunities. People see better candidates at an interview and ignore one’s qualities. Do not lose confidence before the final results. Put forth your best efforts while keeping your head held high. Doubts come from experience or personal failures, but cir cumstances change all the time. Training the mind to drop self-doubts and embrace the past, and can move forward without falling.

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By: This article is written by Harmandeep Kaur Grewal. She is a psychologist and content developer by profession.

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