Hope beyond the headlines

The world can be a depressing place. Headlines about Brexit stalemates and the climate and about bad people doing things all over the world.

But when it gets depressing, I take heart from the number of amazingly, lovely and just plain good people there are out there too. I don’t mean perfect people who get everything right or people who are making headlines but your ordinary, everyday, common-or-garden hero. The people who volunteer to take in guide dog puppies and give them loads of love and loads of training and then send them off to help someone else despite missing them desperately. The people who give up their weekends to coach football for children in their local park. The people who open their house to those who have no where else to go. The people who volunteer for the night shift on a telephone helpline. The people who dig out their neighbours drive when it snows. The people who spend Christmas volunteering at a homeless shelter. The people who remember to buy something extra to put in the food bank when they’re doing their weekly shop. The people who give their last rolo away. Can you think of one person you know who does something to change the world for the better? I can think of plenty of people who I know who do good things that make the world a better place, not in a seismic way, but slowly and quietly, one person at a time.

I’ve come also across some amazing people in my time as a Clinical Psychologist. I’m talking now about people who have come through incredibly challenging adversity and are still standing. And people who have had their hopes dashed over and over again and yet still remain hopeful. And people who are managing to keep breathing despite being in the middle of something so hard or painful.

Life is full of these kinds of people – those who are generous of spirit and of heart and those who willingly do things for others, despite the risks that they might be hurt, or taken advantage of or that things might go wrong. And full of people who have come through really hard times and find a way to keep on walking and breathing. I can’t know how I might respond faced with some of the things I have heard recounted or witnessed alongside clients or patients and their families. But I do know that if I managed it with half as much courage and strength as the people I work with, then I’d have the right to feel proud of myself.

If you’re having a hard time right now, take heart from this. Take heart from the fact that there are good people in the world. People who wish you nothing but well on your journey. People who you will never know (and some that you do know) who are silently rooting for you. I’m one of those people rooting for you, possibly even from thousands of miles away. And there are also people who have been where you are and have found a way through. Believe in people (not the depressing headlines) and know that there is good in the world and a way through whatever it is.

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