It seems easy these days to get caught up in all the horrors and tragedies going on lately and feeling hopeless and depressed over it. Right now in the Middle East, two wars are going on, each a continuation fo a longstanding conflict that is older than most of the readers on this blog. Go up north, and you’ll see a huge superpower that is making aggressive moves at its neighbors in order to reassert itself as a once feared and respected empire. And then come home to the United States, where the federal government resembles more of a daycare full of squabbling children than a functioning body of elected officials. We’ve got continuing problems with immigration, gun violence, police abuse, the wage gap, and more problems than I care to put in this post, all with no end in sight. Add to that the recent deaths of so many people, some of whom died before their times and under tragic circumstances, and it feels easy to give into despair.

But it’s in these times that we must look to the good and remember all that we have to be thankful for. Sure, my home country of the USA is far from perfect, especially on the federal level, but it is a country with plenty of opportunities. I’ve been able to take advantage of those opportunities, getting a quality education that I’ll finish up this coming May with my college graduation (any further education will be several years down the road if I decide to pursue it), and while receiving this education, I was able to receive counseling that allowed me to learn how to interact with people and get along (a subject which confused me growing up and still confounds me sometimes). And if that was not enough, I’ve been able to pursue my passions and publish three books, with another one recently finished, another one in the editing stages, and a sixth planned for this school year. Am I making lots of money each month? No, but that doesn’t stop me from working hard and making my dreams come true.

I’m also blessed to have a loving, if somewhat kooky family, great friends, and the near-guarantee that they won’t be suddenly taken away from me (it could happen, but it’s not likely). I also have a steady job that allows me to pay my bills and afford the things I need to get by, and I have taken part in programs that will help me find a job after graduation.

And I’ve been lucky enough to travel to other countries, Israel the summer before my senior year of high school and England, France, and Germany this past May. And there’s a chance (slight, but there), that I could go abroad again in the coming years, God willing.

And that’s not all. There are stories appearing in the world every day that makes life seem magical. A man in Florida graduated from college with a 4.0 GPA in business, all while battling cancer he’d had since he was 18. A dog whose hair was so overgrown you couldn’t tell which end was the front got her hair cut off and is now getting adopted. And my friend Matt Williams tells me that scientists have developed a new method for finding people more predisposed to commit suicide, so maybe someday we can make suicide a less common problem in the world. Even with the dark stuff, there’s still room for the light.

Look around you. What are you thankful for? What’s good in your life? Your friends and family? Your job or school? Is there someone or something that makes you forget all the bad and feel at peace? Did something come in for you at the library or in the mail that you’ve been waiting for a long time? Is it a book by me, by any chance? If it is, you might have just made my day.

When you think about it, you can find plenty more reasons to be happy than to be sad. So keep strong and never stop hoping and looking for a better tomorrow. I know life isn’t always easy. For some, it’s a constant hell. But we’re human beings, and while we’re capable of great horrors, we’re also capable of great good, and of being able to find the silver lining in any grey cloud.

So if events around the world have you stressed out, take a moment to reflect on the good. You may just find your stress and sadness floating away.

I’ll eave you with this video by the immensely talented singer Alex Boye. From the moment I saw it, I knew it was an incredible video with the power to help so, so many people. Check it out for yourself. You might just ind yourself perking up a little. I know I do when I watch this video. Especially shots with the special guest star of the video. You might recognize him. He’s quite the famous anchorman.

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Comments
  1. Hannah Polster says:

    Finally got around to reading this entry of yours Rami. I enjoyed it immensely! You really put life into perspective and stress the importance of optimism–something I am striving to do as well. Thank you very much for the inspiring words.

    See you at school!

    Yours,
    Hannah Polster

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