I posted this last November, but I’d like to post it again for several reasons. However, I received feedback I’d also like to share. They made excellent points.
I’ve lived some dark days.
I’d been physically, mentally, verbally and financially abused; beaten down, controlled, and threatened. My shoulders bowed from the weight of the anguish and lack of hope. Promises of being hunted and killed rang through the air on a regular basis. But one particular evening gave me strength to make a plan, and one friend took time to plant a seed of hope. The next day I put my two small children in that friend’s truck, threw a few garbage bags of our clothes and toys in the back, and left my ex-husband. That choice led us 2000 miles from home followed by three long terrifying years of hiding.
Years later I don’t recognize my reflection in the mirror. I am not that woman any longer. However, if my friend hadn’t taken the time to plant that seed of hope I’d be dead.
Today I work at a staffing agency in Portland, Oregon. I have watched the economy tank, and begin creeping upwards again. A job applicant called me the other day. He asked questions concerning open positions; did we have work for him? Could I take a moment to call him back? He just needed hope. I returned the phone call. I see this daily in my line of work, people hurting, and hope fading. At times I am able to restore it.
Hope inspires dreams, belief in our selves, and belief in others. Hope gives us energy, lightness inside. We pass it to someone without realizing it’s contagious through a smile, a kind deed, opening a door for someone, or taking time to listen. I don’t believe that we truly understand how we are capable of affecting another person.
We have all known someone affected by depression or experiencing a difficult life situation. My challenge to you is to consider these things: how long does it really take to speak a kind word to someone, buy someone coffee, listen to a friend’s problem? It’s impossible to know what lives people lead behind closed doors, what they are thinking, how they are feeling behind that smile. Just remember what you say or do might save a life.
Here is the feedback:
“You asked for some feedback on your post, what I liked, etc.
I love the topic. Hope is all we really have. Yesterday is gone and we fortunately do not have a crystal ball to see into the future. Yes I did mean fortunately not unfortunately. Just think of how boring or aggravating life would be if we knew what the future would hold. Hope for a better tomorrow is what we have to live for.
You spoke of an applicant looking for work and at the end talked about the influence we could have on another person’s life just like your friend had on yours. Oh, the wonderful and scary power each of us holds in the possibilities of changing someone’s life.
From what you have told me about your experience you could probably develop it into a novella if not a full blown novel.”