Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word 'happy' would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.- Carl Jung
Your life can be wasted, if you strongly believe that you have no choices. There are always choices that you can make to save your life - and I don’t mean it from the death of your body, but of your soul. The word desperate comes to mind first when you think of someone who was brought up to believe that she has no choice but be a victim - whether it’s social inequity, political police, abusive parents or an workaholic husband.
Stories about prisoners in Nazi concentration camps are common knowledge these days. Where I come from, it wasn’t hard to hear stories about political dissidents in communist jails behind the Iron Curtain who stubbornly refused to give up hope and search for life meaning, even in their unbelievably harsh conditions. Some, kept in solitary confinement for years, kept their sanity by reciting poems or prayers from memory or writing new ones in their own minds -no writing tools were available, of course, and scratching on the prison walls was harshly punished.
So, seems to me that we are equipped to reach above the cloud of daily worries, and search deeper in the mud hole of unfulfilled dreams and unsettling anxieties, to make choices in life and find fulfillment, if not happiness. We have the survival toolkit (God-made?!) to rise even from the bottom of the bottoms: a mind that relentlessly seeks meaning and a heart that whispers the name of each one’s true calling.
I decided to write the stories I heard, before and after moving to America, as my legacy to those who are hopeless. Sometimes these stories are funny, sometimes weird, a number of times they will feel tense but in all of them, there is HOPE.