A Beacon of Hope

A giant Christmas tree in Tacloban, Leyte

A month after the strike of the supertyphoon Yolanda, the affected cities are still enveloped in darkness and the victims are still thriving in loss and hunger. While signs of ruin and desolation still manifest all over, a beacon of hope stands in the center of a plaza – a giant, colorful Christmas tree, one that reminds all those reached by its vibrant beams that things will get better in time; that they must continue to live, to fight, and more importantly, to hope and to continue to believe in hope.

With Christmas just a few days away, let us remember that the holiday season is not simply about finding your family and friends the right (or the most expensive) gifts or about going to the Bahamas for a sweet vacation; it is good to remember that it is also about being hopeful and being able to give hope to those who might have forgotten that there is still hope in life. There might be many things that have knocked us down in this ending year, but we can always choose to get up and continue the battle in the coming year. And hope is the most powerful weapon one can equip oneself with in every battle.

Hope gives you a reason to fight and makes you want to fight. Hope gets you back on your feet when you’ve stumbled and have fallen into a deep dike. Hope makes you stronger and more resilient. Hope makes you smile. Hope makes you live and want to continue living despite all the negativity. Hope changes you for the better. Hope gives you soul when you thought you’ve lost it.

But, we’re not always in sight of hope. Sometimes, we are so burdened, and the idea of hope seems to be so elusive. Sometimes, our lives are enveloped in a heavy cloud of darkness that we can’t seem to find the light of hope. We give up and continue to feel a sense of worthlessness. Hope becomes invisible, so we need something physical to always remind us of its presence. We need our own beacon of hope – a pendant, a small charm, a keychain, a teddy bear, a mini sketch, a ring, a poster, a souvenir from a loved one, a photo – something to remind us that there is still something worth living for, that not all is lost, that we can still survive, and that we are strong enough to rise again and feel alive once more. Hold on to your own personal beacon of hope, so you’ll never forget about hope. Let it stand by your side with your every step, and feel bolder and more optimistic towards life. Use it to inspire others to hope as well. Let it remind you to help others know and remember hope.

As the new year draws nearer, be hopeful for the start of a new journey, for a new beginning, for new perspectives, for a fresher outlook in life, for new opportunities, for new friends, for new adventures, for new stories, and for a new life. Welcome the new year with a smile on your lips and with your hand on your beacon of hope.

There is hope. There will always be hope.

Merry Christmas everyone; and have a meaningful, hopeful New Year! Scream your heart out, and make a wish on New Year’s Eve.

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