Hope in the Midst of Chaos

By Andy Christian Castillo

IMG_8188Based on current world events, there doesn’t seem to be much hope to be found in the world.

If any at all.

What am I saying!? the world has always been messed up — the current chaos is just the most relevant to our present space and time.

It’s Always Been Like This

Before Saddam Hussain (who everyone knows), there was Idi Amin Dada — the wrathful dictator of Uganda during the ’70s who put about half a million people to death during an eight year reign of terror, Kim Il Sung, the North Korean leader who executed 1.6 million fellow North Koreans, and of course, Ismail Enver Pasha, leader of the Young Turk Revolution and the Ottoman Empire through World War I and the Balkan Wars (who killed more than 2.5 million humans because he was defeated in Sarikamish).

I’m not even going to include Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Leopold II (enslaved 15 million Congolese and committed some of the worse atrocities in human history) or Nicholas II (“Bloody Nicholas”) in this list, because it would become too grim.

The point is, we are actually living in a relatively peaceful time of human history.

Is that a depressing reality?

Yes, damn yes, it is.

But it’s the truth.

My Life: As It Is

140125_hillI work at a TV station.

My job is to tell people depressing and cold news so that they don’t live in blissful ignorance of reality.  I’m a middleman, I tell people what other people have told me: someone from a larger station uploads video that a big-shot producer deemed relevant to my viewers, and I upload that video to my station.  I also shoot my own little vignettes about my geographical area so that the news is even more relevant to the viewers.

At my station, there are people who have told the news for a long time — ten, twenty, maybe even thirty years.  And these people are still telling it!

The lives of these men and women have been spent in the newsroom — anchor, reporter, cameraman, producer: that’s their identity.  They find fulfillment in their job, that’s why they’ve stayed for so long.  Younger workers strive to fill the spots left open when the older folks retire, or move up, or quit.

It’s a cycle.

One day, the younger workers will be the older workers and the older workers will be dead.

Their identities will mean nothing.  Their life’s work will mean something to those who come after, but nothing to them, because they’ll be dead.

Is that a depressing reality?

Yes, damn yes, it is.

But it’s the truth.

One Depressing Cycle

BostonToday, I woke up, rushed to work, ate lunch, filmed a few stories, came home, had dinner, and went to bed.  Tomorrow, I’ll do the same thing.

Theoretically, I could do that same routine every day until one day, I don’t wake up anymore.  Until one day, I’m just dead.  Between now and then, I’ll have good days, happy days, sad days, bad days and depressing days; I’ve accepted it.

That’s the truth.

Maybe I’ll turn into one of those old reporters and leave a spot open for a hard charging younger worker, or maybe I won’t.  But, I’m assured that I’ll perpetuate the cycle of death (confronted by all of humanity).

Regardless of intellect, physical prowess, beauty, stature, status or story, everyone dies.

And after death, human existence won’t matter anymore.

Depressing, right?  Yeah.  I think so too.  It’s horribly depressing, but it’s the truth.

It’s how I see the world, and I can’t escape it.

There is no hope in physical existence.  Or at least I can’t find any.

Yeah, there are temporary fixes — enlightenments, memories, ceremonies, epiphanies, religion, science, work, pleasure, hobbies, friends, lovers, family, etc etc etc etc. 

We as humans look for escapes, and we find them, but they’re temporary.

They don’t fill us up permanently.

A God Sized Hole

Yellow StripeI have a God sized hole in my heart and I try to fill it with

Fill in the blank.

You won’t ever be able to replace the love of God.

He sent his Son (we say Son, Father, etc, because those are the human words we understand) to die for us, in a way that we humans can understand, so that we can have a friendship with God.  He bridged the gap between spiritual and physical. 

So that we can transcend pain, strife, misery, depression, etc etc etc etc, and find peace and hope and fulfillment that lasts — not just while we’re on this earth, but forever.

That’s where my hope rests.

And out of that hope, love toward the hatred, the pain, the strife, the awful world that we live in, flows.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11

Andy Christian CastilloAndy Christian Castillo is the Founder of Ver・ism(s).  He is a military veteran and student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, pursuing a degree in English.  In his free time, he plays music, writes poetry, gallivants around the world, climbs mountains and runs through the pouring rain.


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