I was feeling a little blah today and decided to google hope to see what would come up. I didn’t like any of the web results or the news stories that came up so I went to the images tab. The picture that caught my eye was the one above.
When I clicked on the image, it led to a blog post and then a chain of comments. Many of the people there said that they had googled “hope” because they were down and seeing this simple message lifted them.
It is such a small connection to the world. That someone else took the same step and was inspired by the same words.
I was recently reading an article about the quarter life crisis and in it the author discusses how our generation was raised to believe that we are all special and unique. We are like snowflakes and there is no one in the world like us. It’s an interesting message because where it is supposed to inspire the person who receives it, instead it leaves that person feeling void and alone. Either the person believes it and then is convinced that they can’t relate to anyone else because she is so different or the person doesn’t believe it and feels inadequate for being just like everyone else.
Last night I was watching Revolutionary Road for the second time and in it Kate Winslet’s character laments that they are just like everyone else. That there is nothing special about them at all. This realization is crushing and leads in many ways to the movie’s tragic end.
What is so bad about being just like everyone else? What will we achieve by being different and unique? Is there any self that we’re supposed to find amiss the different messages we receive? I don’t know the answers to any of these questions and quite frankly I don’t even know if it matters.
I just know that when I googled hope and found that someone else had felt just like I did and it led them down the same small path, it made me feel happy, it made me want to write about it. In the world of the internet, where disconnectedness and alienation seem to be the rule of the day, it was reassuring to find that there are exceptions to the rule.
“Hope” is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—
And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—