If you know anything about classical Greek mythology, then you have heard the story of Pandora. Pandora was the first woman created by the gods. Created by Hephaestus at the request of Zeus, Pandora was given gifts from the gods and goddesses. One gift she received was a canister that we know today as “Pandora’s Box”. Hidden away in Pandora’s box were all the evils of the world.
Looking out at the world today it’s hard to feel very hopeful. Read the news online or go on social media and the stories are bleak. Recently there was a mass random shooting spree in Kalamazoo Michigan. That was very frightening for me because I have a good portion of my family living in Michigan and some who even live in Kalamazoo. These types of events have become commonplace lately. Mass shootings on top of police brutality, an abundance of guns and an increase in racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia give the impression that all hope is lost.
It is no wonder that the country is at war with itself. Those on the right are marching further and further to the right. Those on the left are marching further and further and further to the left. That is why idealistic political candidates and opportunity candidates like Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders are popular. The people in both parties seem to feel that the sky is falling. Hopelessness and fear has brought about an epidemic of panic that has been exploited.
I admit, I have felt the deep-seated despair rising inside of me. How could you not when you see so many people homeless, suffering, poor, in pain, being killed in movie theaters, being shot for no reason other than the color of their skin, pro-choice, of a different religion, or because someone with mental illness has access to a gun.
It’s so easy to fall into it.
When Pandora opened her box, she released a plague on humanity. Exiting the box was famine, death, fear and because she closed the box before all could exit… Hope was trapped. With all the ugly and evil released onto the world we had no hope. We were deprived of that and if you listen to the politicians now you would feel the hopelessness.
Yet, as I approach my 32nd birthday, I realize that despite it all I do have hope for the future. It sounds weird to me because as most people know, I am a pessimist. Yet I have to have hope. I don’t get a choice. I have to have hope that the future will be a place worth living and that the world will get better from here. Every time I look at my three amazing and beautiful daughters I have hope that through them the world become a better place. Even on days when I lose my faith in humanity, they show me just how amazing they can be.
So despite it all, we must not let hopelessness consume us. There is darkness in the world but we must overcome that darkness with light. The more light we shine the closer we are to a better future.