Whose idea is it anyway? This ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ or ‘silver lining behind dark clouds’ we readily pour out like balm to soothe aching muscles? i admit, sometimes these clichés sound like carefully crafted pick up lines for cheap victories or postponed responsibility. Like it or not, the world is filled with painful realities that aren’t always numbed by punch lines or motivational power quotes.
I’m not speaking of mood swings that drive people to suicide or divorce rates that keep spiking out of control when people fall out of love.
Death is real. So is fear, and hunger, and disease. Thousands of people are no more because of extreme acts of terrorism. Countless others remain victim to whims of corrupt governments. Needless to mention the hungry folks, millions of them. The facts dances round our heads like a nursery rhyme; people living on less than one dollar a day. How does happiness or health even begin to factor into that budget?
So whose idea is it anyway? These wisdom quotes we offer our sick neighbors, or the smile we bestow on our hungry acquaintances.
I ask myself as much as I ask you.
We can do better. We can do better than ‘it is well’ or ‘hang in there’ or whatever proverbial pat in the back we have these days. Rather than point people to an imaginary light at the end of the tunnel, we can start by sharing our light. Because a hand offered in help is better than ten thousand cheesy lines intended to console.
Photo Credit: Page One Literary Center