News of financial chaos ricochets off the pages of newspapers and Internet sites. Doom and turmoil abound and I wonder where all the hoopla is coming from.
When you work in a world where most have nothing, downturns in the economy, dips in the Dow and the collapse of banking institutions have little impact.
Yet, amidst the turmoil and the darkness, there is always light. When there's nowhere else to go but up, there's always room for improvement.
Yesterday, I had a phone call from a man who saw a news article on TV about the opening of our art studio at the shelter.
"I like to support local artists," he said, "and have a couple of companies interested in buying work from your clients."
What a generous and heartfelt gesture.
Yesterday, I had a call from a woman in Atlanta interested in bringing a group of 100 volunteers to the shelter during a conference she's planning here in Calgary.
What a wonderful difference they'll make.
Yesterday, I spoke with a client who asked if he could come up to the art studio and paint. "I used to be a graphic artist, but my addiction got the better of me" he said. "I've been clean and sober for three months and want to start building my life again. I figure painting will be a great start."
What a wonderful affirmation of the power of art to change lives.
Amidst the clamour and furor of financial collapse, there is hope.
Amidst lives in turmoil, lives at rock bottom, there is light.
On the weekend, two women came up to tell me that they had read my book. "I closed it at three am," one woman said. "I couldn't put it down. And when I did, I stood up. Packed my suitcase and left. I haven't looked back."
In the despair of being beaten down, the possibility arises of standing up.
The world is in turmoil. Financial markets are crumbling.
The light of hope burns bright.
German poet and philosopher Wolfang Goethe wrote, “In all things it is better to hope than to despair.”
In all things it is better to keep your eyes open for the light to get in. In the dark, troubles mount and monsters grow.
The question is: Are you focusing on your troubles? Are you despairing about today and letting go of hope?