by Nadia Ramoutar MMM Communications Coordinator 25.10.2022
In answer to the question is the glass half full or half empty, people give answers based on the way they see the world. For many of us, the world can be a disappointing place as we see more instances of violence, famine, drought and despair. If we work in the Mission realm, we do so with faith that things can and will improve. Often though, we are not able to show up in the world consistently without being a realist. I have come to the place in my life where the glass is what it is.
Sometimes I am asked if I am optimist as I plan new campaigns for charity or events. I feel the term carries a certain judgement with it. I may be wrong but it feels that pessimism is not only a drag for the person but for everyone they encounter. You may have read Viktor Frankl’s incredible book “Man’s Search for Meaning” about his experience in the Holocaust. It is one of the most powerful books I have ever read – and I have read a LOT of books.
In it he points out that the people who fared the worst in the concentration camps were the optimists. As a result of his time there he later developed a theory that through a search for meaning in life, people can endure and overcome suffering, Frankl also says that people cannot pursue success or happiness, it is an unintended side effect of a personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself.
As we face challenges in the world that are unprecedented due to Covid 19, the War in the Ukraine, rises prices and costs in the world and the environmental impact of the climate crisis we could easily lose heart. But, we can be uplifted by Frankl and other people who faced conflict like Mahatma Gandhi that our role on the journey to peace brings value.
“Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it.”
Mahatma Gandhi famously once said. It is almost naïve to think that humans will not have conflict somewhere when they have for thousands of years without fail. So what remains is the cultivation of our ability to cope.
One of the great resources in coping is the collaboration with one another. What might seem overwhelming for one of us can be addressed by many. We are fortunate to have a great team in the MMM Communication Department and we tackle projects that could easily overwhelm us as a team. I think that the ability to cope comes from confidence we can have in those closest to us.
Perhaps we cannot solve all the worlds’ problems, but we can do what we can do. Along with other like-minded people we can do even more. I love the phrase “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Somewhere on the path as we seek answers we may be rewarded with sprinklings of joy to reward our realism.