3 Lessons from Africa on Hope
It is quite easy to get discouraged, really when you watch or listen to the news, there seems to be very little there that is encouraging. Hearing about the reoccurrence of the Ebola virus in Liberia and the multiple bomb blasts and suicide bombings in Nigeria, Africa in particular offers very little encouragement.
Yet, hope is what most people on the African continent have — partly because there in some cases there is very little else. Hope is what keeps most people going even in the face of extreme odds.
If you are suffering from discouragement and wondering how you can live a life filled with hope, here are a few tips that can help.
- Live Each Day as it Comes
This is not an easy concept for most of us particularly if we love to plan every bit of our lives. However, it is an inescapable truth that the best laid plans will often go south. While I am not advocating that you do not plan at all, it is important to live each day to the fullest.
Traveling around the North of Nigeria or through Liberia, you see people who have lost so much and still find a reason to smile. They have no idea if that day will be their last and they intend to live all of it fully.
2. Focus More on the Good
Bad things happen — they always will, but we tend to let them have such a huge impact on our lives that they practically obliterate the good stuff that happens. And good things happen. Dwelling so much on the negative sucks the light and joy from our lives.
Think of the good around you; think long and hard about it. Do some good as well and appreciate all the good that comes to you. This will not stop the bad things from happening, it won’t. But it will have such a profound effect on you and will restore your hope in life and in humanity.
3. Find a Reason to Celebrate
In most parts of Africa, practically every day is for celebration. People have parties for every reason and for no reason at all. A new baby is born; a marriage is a year old; a man survived a crash; a woman was did not have to spend an entire week in the hospital…it doesn’t really matter how big or small the occasion, it is party-worthy.
You do not need to shut down a street, put out canopies and call a local band, but you can also find ways to celebrate in your life. There are so many reasons to do that. An entire year without a visit to the doctor except for a routine check-up is cause for a celebration. Don’t wait for others to throw a party for you; throw one for yourself, even if it is a party for one.
Do something that will uplift your spirit.
Hope is one commodity that the world cannot do without and a life becomes much bleaker without a glimmer of hope. It is that small whisper at night that tells you anything is possible.
Image: Smiling lady at Creating Pathways Centre: A centre providing an educational lifeline of hope for pregnant girls in Sierra Leone — www.creatingpathways.net
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