Don’t Despair Walk on: This is the Hope of Christmas
- Kamran Mofid
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‘It is hope which can give meaning to life and which will give us the courage to continue on our way into the future together.’
And this is why HOPE is truly what the world is yearning for this Christmas
We must remain positive. We must remain hopeful
We must not despair, we must walk on
'In short, although, this is a turbulent era; paradoxically, it is also a period of tremendous opportunity, a time of enormous Hope for creating a much better future for ourselves, our children and grandchildren, our community, our country, our world. We need to see this Hope for a better future and play our part in building it.'
Keeping hope alive is precisely what Christmas is all about. Christmas celebrates the birth of a child who became the symbol of hope through the ages to billions of people who were/are faced with economic and socio-political/cultural oppression. Many Christians clung to the belief that this child, crucified as an adult by the Roman occupying army in Judea, would return and establish a new global reality of peace on earth. That hope gets renewed for many around Christmas, every year.
Christmas celebrate the possibility of a different kind of world. A world of kindness, justice and peace. The Christmas lights at the darkest moments of the year are a testimony to our capacity to hope. Don’t let the light go out!!!
Christmas is the time of Hope, not Despair
We must not despair, we must walk on
We Can Be the Light in These Dark Times
In Hinduism, people greet each other with the word, “Namaste,” “The divine light within me bows to the divine light within you.” Namaste is not a superficial gesture or a mere word, it is a way of showing respect and that we are equal to one another. It is used with all people one meets, from young and old to friends and strangers. Though it has its origins in India, Namaste, is now known and used throughout the world. In Japan, for example, the gesture is "Gassho" and used in similar fashion, typically in prayer and healing practice.
I firmly believe that, in these dark times, when we are all in search of ways to heal our wounded world, we can nurture this light within ourselves, and help to cultivate it and share it with each other. Love, gratitude, kindness, empathy, beauty, wisdom and joy—by cultivating these feelings in our own hearts and minds, we find our own light within, discover our purpose, passion, and vocation and gain the strength to lift the weight of these dark times; enabling and empowering us to work with others in the interest of the common good, to build the better world we are all imagining.
The Christmas story is all about our fundamental values, about who we are, what we are and why we are. It is about our humanity and its about what makes us human. It is about sacred versus sacrilege, beauty VS ugliness, darkness VS light, kindness VS hatred, hope VS fear, cooperation VS feral competition, selflessness VS selfishness, empathy and sympathy VS indifference and intolerance, truth VS alternative facts, bridges VS walls and such like.
It is in this light that I am sharing this beautiful, inspiring and timeless poem from Hafez, the 14th century Persian philosopher of love, a seeker of wisdom who became a poet of genius, a lover of truth who has transcended the ages, with you. May this poem be a source of hope and inspiration to all of us, as we must remain positive and hopeful, this Christmas time:
Don’t despair walk on
"Joseph to his father in Canaan shall return, don't despair walk on;
and Jacob's hut will brighten with flowers, don't despair walk on.
Aching hearts heal in time, vanished hopes reappear,
the disparate mind will be pacified, don't despair walk on.
As the spring of life grows the newly green meadow,
roses will crown the sweet nightingale's song, don't despair walk on.
If the world does not turn to your whims these few days,
cosmic cycles are preparing to change, don't despair walk on.
If desperation whispers you'll never know God,
it's the talk of hidden games in the veil, don't despair walk on.
O heart, when the vast flood slashes life to its roots,
Captain Noah waits to steer you ashore, don't despair walk on.
If you trek as a pilgrim through sands to Kaabeh
with thorns lodged deep in your soul shouting why, don't despair walk on.
Though oases hide dangers and your destiny's far,
there's no pathway that goes on forever, don't despair walk on.
My trials and enemies face me on their own,
but mystery always backs up my stand, don't despair walk on.
Hafez, weakened by poverty, alone in the dark,
this night is your pathway into the light, don't despair walk on."-From: 'The Spiritual Wisdom of Hafez', Haleh Pourafzal and Roger Montgomery
...and I leave you with the gift of this beautiful song for the ongoing journey- a journey of hope, remembering who, why and where we are:
I think over again my small adventures
Those small ones that seemed so big
For all the vital things
I had to get and reach
And yet there is only one great thing
Only one thing
To live to see the great day that dawns
And the light that fills the world.
- Old Inuit Song