I was dangerously close to becoming dangerously cynical only a matter of days ago. To be fair, I've always been a very skeptical person, bordering cynicism in some cases. Asking questions and challenging assumptions are things I do on a regular basis, and this can sometimes lead to serious bouts with cynicism. But at the same time, I've also been someone who more often than not gives people the benefit of the doubt and trusts others more than I probably should. I've often been afraid that this willingness to trust would come back to bite me. And it did. And I quickly began to doubt everything.
Trust is one of those ideas which is essential to living life the way we're used to. I trust that a chair will hold me if I sit in it, that other drivers will stop when the light turns red, and that the laws of gravity and inertia and what not will hold true the next time I step onto a plane. I also trust that the people I allow into my inner circle won't let me down or cast me aside. I trust that when someone tells me what they think or feel or believe, they are telling the truth. I trust that people essentially are who they say they are: no more, no less.
It was this trust which was betrayed, on oh so many levels. And while the betrayal wasn't malicious, it was betrayal all the same.
But then, out of nowhere, a strange sense of peace settled over me. A sense that everything is going to work out, that everything is going to be okay. That the worries I have, the things which bother me, they won't matter in the end. That the fears I have will be assuaged, the reservations removed, the scars healed. The hope which I had all but written off came roaring back again, refilling my soul and reminding me that I deserve, and eventually will receive, better.
I think about hope as much as I do anything. It permeates my relationships, my conversations and my beliefs. Hell, you've probably noticed by now the way it penetrates my ideas and the things I write. To lose hope would be the biggest blow of them all. Bigger than learning that I might not be able to trust those closest to me, bigger than losing relationships in the blink of an eye. For a few moments, I thought that I was losing that hope, that I was going to become cynical and refuse to trust any longer. Thankfully, mercifully, that isn't the case.
Perhaps trusting others not to let me down is naive. Perhaps continuing to give others the benefit of the doubt is a poor idea. Perhaps I do have every right to become cynical toward those around me. Yet I reject this. I choose instead to hold onto something else: hope. And if there is one thing I've learned again and again and continued to trust as time goes by, it's this simple truth: there is always hope.
And so on...