[70] On the Road – Hope

La esperanza es el inicio del camino. Jamás dejar la esperanza. Si encuentras la oscuridad o el frio del mundo, la esperanza será tu fuente de luz y de calor; tu brújula y tu linterna. ¡Vaya te y ve!

‘I think they all know the world is lost, so they gave up on it,’ he said, while he gave up on it. In his eyes there was no hope, nor faith. There was only the lone staring gaze at a point in the future of which he hoped never to reach it, but of which he felt he would.

As if all life disappeared out of his eyes, his soul sucked up by the worries of the debate, his breath taken by the waves of the unpredictable future, of despair even. I understand his feelings, see how his thoughts created this image, and at some point, I share his opinion.

But I cannot let this view come in the way of hope. If I would, I would admit that my job is useless, that my life is useless and that eventually there is no more to do than wait and pray, as what a lady recommended me in Costa Rica in the advent of a hurricane.

I do wait and pray every day for the better, for the world to change, moreover for the human beings to change. ‘But by staring at the river, you will never reach the other side,’ goes the saying, so I do take action at the same time. I write my blogposts, investigate the topic, talk to whoever I can, until I feel tiered and they feel tiered. Until giving up would be the easier way, but eventually I never will.

I am patient and show understanding for his opinion, but I cannot allow this situation to take the life out of his soul, the sparkle out of his eyes. I cannot allow that for anyone. I bring up hope, which is all I can do at the moment. Hope is the beginning of change. If we accept the situation as it is, and rest in our fate, without intending to change what is left, no change will ever happen.

Although change might not happen overnight, it might light the hope. If we don’t believe anymore in change, we stop any change from happening.

Albeit I am not naïve, and I know change will not happen by itself, I do know that change might be as small as the change in this particular situation. Watching the empty gaze of a young man wandering about the future, and eventually lighting up again, even if it was only for a fraction of a second. That means hope. It is in that window of opportunity, the window of hope, that change can occur. Don’t close your eyes, nor your mind or soul because it all looks like doomed anyways. Consider that any small step taken is worth for the step itself, even if the end goal will never be reached. It is about the journey, not about the destination.

Often, we wonder if the energy transition will ever be completed, if climate change will ever be stopped, and if the world will ever be really sustainable. Often, they exchange hope for despair and conclude that it does not make sense at all, that eventually we will never get there, so the journey is not worth to take.

But here is my answer, and it does not only apply for sustainability issues, but for life in general. It does not matter if you reach the end destination, as life will come in at your path and so many things are out of control, so the road might be redesigned many times while walking it. But if every single step you take, brings you there where you want to be, make you proud of creating a footprint, make you and your environment a better place, than it is all worth it, regardless where you eventually will end up.

We cannot live the future, nor can we change the past. But we can live the present at our best, and if you can wake up every morning in peace with yourself, you can be peaceful with the world around you, creating a better place for all.

Be honest about the steps you take, be fair about the actions you make, be hopeful in the wishes you make and be courageous in the journey you take. Walk the road today, because that is the only moment when you can. Keep in mind that if every single step you take is worth it, the road will be worth it, regardless when, how and where you reach the destination.

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With that said, I’m on the road again, leaving the island of Koh Tao, my home base for the last couple of weeks, up to a new country, another destination, another story to share.

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