Last week was difficult.
So difficult, in fact, that I broke down in tears twice, feeling utterly and completely helpless and hopeless at everything that has been happening in the world. Yes, Aleppo was huge part of the reason why I was emotionally out of sorts last week, but it's not just Aleppo. It feels like the entire world is in turmoil and all I can do is sit by and watch everything go up in flames.
It's all the things that happen everyday, sometimes in our own backyards. The things that make the evening news and, for a fleeting instance, elicits shock and sympathy but we've moved on by the first commercial break. The things that we scroll past in our Facebook feeds in order to get to the news about who broke up with whom. I feel like, on some level, we're all silent accomplices, comatose in our self-serving tendencies and drunk in our disregard to everything outside of our safe, happy little bubbles.
When it all came to a head last week, I really questioned how much I was participating in moving humanity forward. Or, conversely, how much I was partaking in turning a blind eye. In being numb...indifferent. Ultimately, the question I pondered at length, the question I still ponder is: What's the point of...anything? What's the point of writing these words? What's the point of this blog? Of posting carefully orchestrated outfit photos on Instagram? Why should anyone care about what I, or anyone else, wore when people are dying? Sometimes I feel like I have no right to be happy, to even dare to be happy when the world is being torn apart by conflict. By greed. By disregard for life.
And then I thought about the Greek myth of Pandora's Box. The story goes that Zeus created Pandora as a gift for Epimetheus. He told Epimetheus to take Pandora as his wife. Zeus gave Pandora a box to give to Epimetheus and told her she should never open it. Of course the secret of the box piqued Pandora's curiosity and after Epimetheus' adamant refusal to allow her to open the box, she took it up on herself one night when he was asleep to satisfy her curiosity. She opened the box and out flew all manner of evil and ills that had never before existed - sickness, greed, crime, worry, death. She slammed the box shut but it was much too late. Wickedness had been unleashed upon the world. The box was empty, save for one thing that remained: HOPE.
The moral of the story, in a nutshell, is that no matter how much it seems like all is lost and there is nothing worth saving, we can't lose hope. We have to choose to see the good, even when sometimes it seems like candle under a bushel. We have to see the light and be the light. We must keep the embers of hope burning.
So my conclusion is this: Yes, the world is a place of unthinkable evil. A place of wretched heartlessness. Of maniacal and senseless conflict and bloodshed. But there’s also still beauty and good and altruism. There is still a reason to wake up happy and hopeful. It’s OK to pursue happiness and prosperity. The world NEEDS more happy people. And while these words, or this blog or posting a picture on Instagram won’t save the world, I have the ability to put something out into the world. And I can only aspire to put forth love and light through my writing and images.
So in these seemingly dark days when the weight of the world hangs so heavily about us, we must cling to hope. Hope that we’re somehow making a difference. Hope that good will always prevail.