Color Me Hopeful

I am a firm believer that my attitude is the crayon that colors the blank white paper of my life.  It’s no coincidence that on my cranky days, I see “idiot” drivers, rude people and inconsiderate actions everywhere I look.  On these days, my life is three shades of gray, accented by swirls of darkness and anger.

I seriously doubt that the world saves their worst behavior for my cranky days.  It would be egocentric of me to assume the world cares enough about what I think to go to such trouble.  No, I think less-than-flattering human behavior is always there and the severity doesn’t vary greatly from day to day.  The difference is me.  When I have my “Mauvelous” crayon in hand, I also see “Carnation Pink,” Cornflower,” “Mango Tango,” and “Vivid Violet.”  Gray still exists but is not focus of my attention.

Attitude can be a struggle for me.  Sometimes being positive isn’t as easy as plucking a brightly colored waxy stick from a cardboard box.  Seeing the good in a world full of evil, or hope in a time of desperation takes conscious effort.  Sometimes things happen that sour my attitude and force my life into gray dullness.  Those things make me doubt the presence of goodness in man and drain hope from my heart.  Luckily when I’m at these low points, I often see something that will allow hope back into my heart.

Let me explain.

Last week, I wrote about my heartache about the famine in Africa.  My sadness turned to disgust this week after I read another news story about famine aid being stolen and sold on the black market.  Children (and adults) are suffering on a long, miserable road of sickness, weakness, and finally death and these “businessmen” are out to turn a tidy profit for themselves.  Have they not seen pictures of the emaciated children?  Are their bodies devoid of souls?

My belief in human decency and hope in humanity were on empty when I read another article, which restored some hope.  A man in Albuquerque, NM witnessed a kidnapping and followed the van in his own vehicle.  Eventually, the van crashed and the driver ran away, but the child was safe.

Did the man who followed the van save the child?  Probably.  His presence may have rattled the driver enough that he crashed.  I don’t know what the kidnapper planned to do with the child, but I’m fairly certain he didn’t intend to take her out for ice cream and bring her back home unharmed.

The man who followed the kidnapper restored some of my faith in humanity.  Despite the danger of tailing the kidnapper, he did it anyway.  In this one act, he proved that selflessness and caring may be on the endangered list, but there is still hope for survival.  His actions cut through the bleakness of a selfish world, stirring in me a deeper appreciation for goodness.

I see that gray has a place and a purpose in my life.  If nothing else, it makes me celebrate the vibrancy of the other colors even more.  If the world didn’t have evil, I would take the good for granted and not give it the thankfulness it deserves.  Yes, there is beauty in the gray, because if I look close enough, I see hope shining through.

Did anything disappoint you this week?  What made you appreciate the glimpses of goodness in the world?  Your thoughts/comments are always welcome!