I have a dirty four letter word that I want you to use right now. It is not a four letter profanity, or even the oft-dreaded word “work.”
The current state of affairs may have you feeling sad, frustrated, scared, or adrift. I get it, because it’s making me feel the same way.
The suffering in Ukraine, so horrifically unimaginable that it cannot be adequately described. Soaring gas prices. Rampant inflation. Food insecurity. Political divisiveness. Race relations. Covid malaise.
But...there's that four letter word that's so important right now: HOPE.
When "Shawshank Redemption" was released in 1994, the accompanying movie poster screamed "FEAR CAN HOLD YOU BACK. HOPE CAN SET YOU FREE." Now more than ever, you need to shake away the fear and properly set your "hope" compass.
How? Gandhi said that “strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”
You know how to tap your indomitable will. Because it's what you do...it's who you are.
Think of the 33 Chilean miners rescued 69 days after a collapse entombed them.
Think of James Tillman, exonerated and released from a Connecticut prison after 18 years for a crime he didn't commit, who said “I’m not gonna move forward with hate. I'm gonna move forward with love.”
Think of Col. Floyd J. Thompson, who endured almost nine years of torture and starvation in Vietnam as the longest-held prisoner of war in American history.
Think of the 12 youth soccer players saved by a daring rescue after spending 18 days in a flooded cave in Thailand.
You cannot let the unfolding madness hold you prisoner.
Andy Dufresne, Tim Robbins’ character in “Shawshank,” penned a letter to his friend Red, anticipating the day he could join Andy in Mexico. He wrote “remember Red. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
I hope the inhumane atrocities cease in Ukraine. I hope the Ukrainian people swiftly find peace. I hope the world heals. I hope inflation eases. I hope nobody goes hungry. I hope leaders lead. I hope MLK's work is never forgotten. I hope you find shelter from the storm.
I agree with Andy. I will never let hope die, because it is a good thing, maybe the best of things.
Carl Ficks helps busy professionals and their teams get back in the fitness game to reduce stress and increase productivity. He practiced law in New Britain for many years and is a proud member of the Generale Ameglio Society. He has run and cycled thousands of miles and competed in dozens of races, so when you're ready to get back in the game, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.