“Hope Is The Last Thing To Die” (Japanese proverb), by Luyanda Zindela (South Africa)

www.realstoriesgallery.com

“Hope Is The Last Thing To Die” (Japanese proverb)

Just imagine what world would be like if we didn’t have hope?

All those defining moments in our history, just imagine if the allied nations lost all hope during the Second World War or if our struggle heroes lost hope against the oppressive power of the apartheid regime. It’s almost too painful to imagine isn’t it? Hope drives people to stand up in impossible circumstances and drives them to do things that they would have never thought they would be able to do…

But then, I remember the words of a bad character from the movie, “The Matrix”. I don’t remember the name of the character but he says,” hope is both man’s greatest strength and man’s greatest weakness”.

I don’t know why I remember that statement so well, I just do. And now, when I think about it, there is a lot of truth to that character’s statement.

If you really think about it, there is a very close link between hope and stupidity and there is a very fine line between being hopeful and being stupid and sadly a lot of people tend to cross that line without even realizing it until it’s too late.

So many young people put themselves into unnecessary danger and even put their own lives and the lives of others at risk, all because they ‘’hope’’ that nothing will happen to them. They willingly put themselves in dangerous situations and then hope that nothing bad will happen, somehow ignoring the fact that a dangerous situation is the most likely place for a bad thing to happen. That hope gives them a false sense of security… There are so many painful stories of people whose lives have been hurt and changed forever because of this kind of hope.

There’s the young girl who invited her older boyfriend to her place and hoped that nothing would happen.

There’s young man who chose to sleep around with many women and hoped that no one would get hurt.

The young girl at the party who decided to leave with the older guy and hope that nothing serious would happen.

I could go on endlessly adding story after painful story, adding person after person who has been hurt because he or she decided to put himself or herself in a dangerous situation. The chances are, you already know or you are related to someone who has gone through painful stories like these ones. Maybe you are someone who has been hurt like this, who is living with the painful consequences of those decisions.

We have to ask ourselves, is it really hope or is it a moment of unseen stupidity that causes us to take such risks with our lives? Is your hope driving you to be great, to make the most of your life, or is it driving you to do something wouldn’t or probably shouldn’t do?

If it’s the latter, then you should probably just take a step back and think for a second.

Is it really hope? Or is it stupidity?

You might find a potentially painful answer staring straight at you…..

If only everyone could just take a step back for just one second and think, before they act… my hope is that young people like me can be able to make the conscious decision to be more responsible in their actions…

Is my ‘hope’ really based on real hope? Or is it just stupidity? I’ll leave it up to you to answer that…

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About luyanda
HIV prevention and awareness storytelling and visual arts www.realstoriesgallery.com

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