Growing up, as a child of 60’s, peace, love and harmony were words being chanted by hippies, flower children and all who questioned authority and were against Vietnam War. I remember thinking how I couldn’t wait to grow up. I knew in my young mind it was only a matter of time before these youthful rebels would age and mature and eventually be able to take their place in world of politics and public opinion. With it, they would be able to change all things they saw wrong with “establishment” from a place of power and influence and not from streets.
I recall my excitement, thinking what a wonderful world it will be, knowing that these brave crusaders were blazing a trail before me, their radical new views and opinions becoming a reality. And at that young age, I recognized I would be first generation to reap benefits of their efforts. I felt blessed to be born in such a historic time.
Wow, was I wrong.
Often I ask myself, where have all flower children gone? Where are young men and women who fought for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness? Where are people who burned flags, bras and draft cards; who marched on college campuses and on Washington DC so their voices could be heard? I find it hard to believe thoughts and values they fought so valiantly for have disappeared and are only a fond memory of a golden age gone by.
Over past few months, this point has become painfully obvious. As I work with clients and talk with friends I hear sound of hopelessness in their voices. They watch as gas and food prices soar. They gaze in disbelief as senseless violence escalates. They stand by helplessly as their jobs are moved overseas and their personal freedoms are taken away one-by-one. In end, they are left feeling impotent because they are unable to control path their lives are taking and feel powerless to change it.
It’s interesting, because on an individual basis, all we want is to be happy, healthy and live our lives in integrity. We want to know that we will have a job to go to on Monday. We want to be able to feed our children, breath air around us, drink water and step outside our homes. Instead we have become increasingly alienated by harsh reality of our world, a reality which creates conflicts between how things are and how we would like them to be. Thus we end up feeling dissatisfied and give up all hope of a better, simpler life.
Hopelessness is a hard emotion to experience; one we have embraced at some point in our lives. It seems to happen just before we hit rock bottom, when we can’t see light at end of tunnel or when life seems futile and we just want to give up. It is a natural part of human condition.
Over last six months, feeling of hopelessness has become overwhelming for many of us. Every time we turn around there’s a crisis. Someone we love dies, we loose our job or our child falls ill. After situation we are facing is handled, it isn’t long before another challenge steps into our lives and once more drama begins anew. With this unrelenting pressure, we are left feeling tired and disillusioned - transforming most optimistic person into a pessimist.