Words of hope can save our lives. They can make quarantine and this complex situation a nice time to live. Concretely, now.
Emily Dickinson wrote: “I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine.” Because a word creates. And what we live is the fruit of the words we use.
We all have a choice everyday: on the one hand there is fear, on the other hope. And if we listen to the words that come to us from Seneca’s antiquity we know which way to go: “Even if the fear will have more and more arguments, you choose hope”. Also because “Nothing will prevent the sun from rising again, not even the darkest night. Because beyond the black curtain of the night there is a sunrise waiting for us”. Khalil Gibran said it.
And what we choose is not indifferent: “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does”. William James tells us.
There are people who have let desperate words crowd their quarantine. They chose not to hope. They chose to be afraid. If they had seen the movie “Wings of Freedom” and if they had heard the words: “Fear can take you prisoner. Hope can set you free” they would have chosen freedom.
If you feel hesitant, not convinced, not ready to hope, read Hemingway: “The rain will stop, the night will end, the pain will disappear. Hope is never so lost that it cannot be found”.
But even if you have lost this battle for optimism, don’t worry and keep fighting. Winston Churchill reassures us: “Never give up, never give up, never give up.” And he defeated Hitler.
And then remember that every challenge, every difficulty is an opportunity. “When everything seems to go wrong remember that the planes take off against the wind, not with the wind in favor”. And if it is said by Henry Ford (yes, that of Ford) we believe it.
Let’s listen to the immortal words of Pablo Neruda and learn to hope: “They will be able to cut all the flowers, but they will not be able to stop the spring”.
And the invitation of Ralph Waldo Emerson is to be taken literally: “Write on your heart that everyday is the best day of the year”. Even in quarantine.
And thus words of hope will have saved our lives.