'I Will Overcome.' Slogan in Tough Times

Mar 26 , 2022
By Eden Sahle

Since I have lost my father almost three months back, nothing seems to be right. Often it feels like being alone in experiencing tragedy while everyone seems to have their way in this world. I imagined that everyone who has their fathers next to them does not feel the dread that caught me every day.

As I struggled with my desperate wish to go on and do the things my father wanted me to do, I came across hundreds of real-life stories from people kind enough to write to me. I realised how much more we learn from others about the depths of pain that are shared in so many different forms.

The people who reached out to me in person, on email and on social media had their share of sorrows. Some were in their early twenties and battling cancer; others, in the prime of their age but widowed and single parents to young children asking them questions for which they do not have answers. Still others lost their parents and romantic partners a few days apart, experienced the horror of loss of a child, or lived with HIV.

Hearing and reading these incredible painful experiences is telling. In many different ways, this world ushers us into suffering as much as it does into joyous moments. We live in a world where catastrophe lurks, where tragedy and joy are lumped together. We are limited from knowing how our life could crumble, how we can prevent it, or at least inoculate ourselves against some of the most profound sorrow.

It seems puzzling to live in a world where various risks threaten us at every turn. No matter what we are going through, we must not imagine that our situation is new or singular. Death, illness, pandemic, war, poverty, fatal accidents, crimes, and betrayals exist just like they did for our predecessors. Worst-case scenarios struck then as they do today and will in future.

Knowing others are with us does not draw out all the grief we feel, but it does take some of the isolation out of it. If we lost a loved one, we know that we join many already losing someone and weeping like us. If we are sick, we join many who are in pain. If we feel lost, we join many who feel the same way. If we think our lives changed in a blink of an eye, many others have gone through it as well.

One thing remains in our shared losses, sorrows, pains, and heartbreaks; we must not stop living, even in a world where so much has, can, and will go wrong at any given moment. The most crucial measure is to pull ourselves together one day at a time, going at our own pace. Losing a loved one changes us deeply, but we should not let it be for the worst. The change should make us more compassionate, considerate and loving. It should inspire us to live a more meaningful life.

If we are all going to experience tragedy that comes in the loss of a loved one or something that we treasure, let that unwanted situation find us responding to the best of our abilities. When the worst-case scenario hits us, let it find us living in gratitude instead of being curled up in a ball weeping endlessly. Let it find us fully taking our opportunities brimming with hope and love.

"I will overcome" should be our slogan.

We should find value in knowing ourselves and others much more deeply and discover those valuable sources of treasured memories and good times that have been there all along, waiting for us to unfold.

We may pass through heart-wrenching experiences that fill us with a flood of saddening emotions daily. We have ongoing personal and national tragedies. Saddening life events and accounts of traumatic life situations can leave us feeling hopeless, overwhelmed, defeated, scared, or detached. Nevertheless, being compassionate to ourselves equips us to offer a helping hand to those suffering in many ways. When we pick ourselves from the ashes, we will be prepared to help.

Perhaps when we learn to care for ourselves, we get the lesson on how to care for others. We will develop human concern for the suffering of others, offering our helping hand. Mine and the stories of others' anguish should remind us that no degree of dread, imagination or the fret beforehand and afterwards does not ease the pain when it arrives, but hope does.

PUBLISHED ON Mar 26,2022 [ VOL 22 , NO 1143]

Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at edensah2000@gmail.com.

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