I recently came across a video, The Conditioned – it’s about a homeless man in Brazil who sat in his little island, a mere patch of grass “island” between car lanes, where he wrote down his thoughts about life. A woman had seen him writing as she passed him daily on her way to work. One day, she dared to speak to him and found out he was writing poetry, which she thought should be read by others, so she started a Facebook page for him and soon, his whole life was changed.
One quote struck me and has stayed in my thoughts since viewing the video. The homeless man said, “Hope is the heaviest weight a man can carry.” It saddened me that hope was equated with being a burden. I thought hope should be something uplifting, encouraging, something positive, but not a burden.
Then I reflected upon his words, I reflected upon his plight, I reflected upon my own personal struggles and understood that he was right, at least in some cases, “Hope is the heaviest weight a man can carry.”
I suppose when one has become as old as he, he is 77 this year and has been homeless for many years, you would see life and the world in a different way. Personal struggles and tragedies have a way of teaching us valuable life lessons but it also alters our perception of what we otherwise, would have regarded as normal, positive even.
During these last few years, I have encountered people who have hoped for one thing or the other. Several of them hope for a partner in life, wondering if even they would have the privilege of having someone to call their spouse as many of their friends are already married.
Some hope for better health, just to be “normal” and have the strength to carry on as many others take for granted that their bodies would just function normally all the time, that the strength and vitality of youth would always be there.
Some wish to have children but after years of marriage, still wait and hope for the miracle of baby. Some wish that the one they love would love them back as much.
Some wish that they didn’t just focus on their careers, that they would have taken time to find a partner and build a family, and hope that it’s not too late.
Hope is indeed the heaviest burden a man can carry, or rather, hope is the heaviest burden the heart can carry. Especially in cases where disappointment, heartache and constant struggle seem to be the norm as opposed to having things “fall conveniently into place”.
We hope because it is unthinkable not to hope. We hope because we know that things in life won’t always be difficult, we hope because the heart yearns for something wonderful, something beautiful. We hope because we know that there is something far greater than our troubles, that love would carry us through to a brighter future.