When Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech, tears rolled down the cheeks of many a supporter – both, American and otherwise. In fact, many hearing him in Mumbai, were moist-eyed too. What was the connection between an American aansoo and an Indian one? Which of the words he uttered, what part of his speech, and what thoughts that he articulated, managed to appeal to people from Greenland to Girgaum? Was it the hope that held out of a new world order, or just the fact that he had fulfilled the hope of every African-American? The operative word here is ‘hope’. It is this hope that caused that gush of energy inside every hopeful’s heart.
Hope is more powerful than the best of medicines. In fact, every therapy is built on a foundation of hope. When you take a pill for a headache, you do it with the hope that the pain will vanish. When you study for your exam, you do it in the hope that you will pass and do well in life. We hold onto hope, because many successful stories have been wrought around it.
It is common to find an insulin-dependent diabetic asking "Doctor, is it true that once on insulin, always on insulin?" Or a HIV-positive patient looking skywards and asking, "Oh God, why me?" We can hope for a patient to get well only if we zealously guard his hope to survive, to surmount.
This column too revolves around hope. When people write in with their prayer requests, they do it with the hope that I will publish them and also hope that people will pray for them in the Connect-Ticket group. And it is this very same hope that has weaved magic in the form of people getting well just through people's prayers.
Let’s take this hope trip a bit further. I invite you to tell me your success stories. If you have conquered diabetes, tell me how you did it. If you've won over cancer, let me know. Or AIDS, epilepsy, liver cirrhosis, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's... any ailment known to man. Success stories like these will act as a tonic to many a tired soul. My aim is to keep hopes alive – to tell the success stories of people who are fighting against all odds. One hope leads to another, and who knows one success story may lead to another too.
Solutions can be got in a myriad ways. To think that only medicines can cure a person is a fallacy. A senior citizen in an old age home doesn't need medicines for treatment; he/she just needs a patient listener. A person with bitter experiences in life just needs to meet one Samaritan to bring about an attitudinal shift. Solutions therefore, can come from anywhere.
It is essential that we do this exercise, especially since our hope for a bright future seems to be getting bleaker in the wealth-depleting and MNS-challenged world we live today. The need of the hour is to connect to each other at a soul level, where we genuinely pray and wish for each other's happiness. The results are miraculous.
Barack Obama said just that, and the people saw in him the hope that they have been nurturing for a very long time. Now, whether he actually fulfils that hope will have to be seen.