Hope amid chaos

Manila Bulletin - - Views • Features - By DR. JUN YNARES, M.D.

“AREN’T you ter­ri­fied by the lat­est de­vel­op­ments in the coun­try and in the world?” That was the ques­tion asked me last Sun­day by a friend who goes to the same Church which my fam­ily and I at­tend. He wanted to find out if I was feel­ing the same way he did in the face of what he termed “ad­verse de­vel­op­ment.”

“Why should I?” I asked my friend in turn.

He went on to enu­mer­ate the re­cent events which he ap­par­ently found to be “ad­verse”: the move to im­peach the chief jus­tice of the Supreme Court, the Om­buds­man, and the chair­man of the Com­mis­sion on Elec­tions; al­leged ex­tra-ju­di­cial killing in the wake of the war against il­le­gal drugs; the still-rag­ing bat­tle of Marawi; the is­sues hound­ing the bud­get given by Congress to the Com­mis­sion on Hu­man Rights.

“That’s just to name a few,” my friend un­der­scored his point.

“So, what’s the good news?” I asked again.

“What do you mean ‘good news’?” he asked with a puz­zled look.

“Take a closer look and you just might find it,” I said, with a smile.

Of­ten, we find our minds sad­dled by the many things around us that are “go­ing wrong.” We let the thoughts fes­ter and we call it “re­flec­tion” or “an­a­lyz­ing.” Such ac­tiv­i­ties are tir­ing – they sap our men­tal, phys­i­cal, and emo­tional en­er­gies. Once the en­er­gies are ex­hausted, we may en­ter into a state called de­pres­sion, or even de­spair.

“It is good to con­sider the things that are ap­par­ently go­ing wrong in our lives and in our world,” another friend once shared with me. “But the process must not stop there,” he added.

This friend has a spe­cific term to de­scribe that state where a per­son al­lows thoughts about the things that are “go­ing wrong” to rule his or her mind. He terms it “wal­low.” “Wal­low” refers to one’s in­abil­ity to let go of his or her at­tach­ment to that feel­ing of be­ing “down” be­cause things are “go­ing wrong.”

“How does one get out of a ‘wal­low’ state?” I asked this par­tic­u­lar friend.

“Ask the ‘magic ques­tion’,” he an­swered. I asked what the magic ques­tion is and this was his an­swer:

“When you catch your­self de­pressed by thoughts of how bad things are, sim­ply ask your­self: so, what’s the good news?”

I have, since then, learned to ap­ply the tech­nique. When ad­ver­sity hits, I sim­ply ask the ques­tion, so, what’s the good news here.

Given the grim de­scrip­tion of “re­cent de­vel­op­ments” by my other friend, I saw the fol­low­ing good news.

First, that we have a Con­sti­tu­tion in place and that the Con­sti­tu­tion has pro­vided us with the nec­es­sary frame­work within which we can ad­dress po­lit­i­cal dis­agree­ments or con­flicts.

Sec­ond, that the bid to im­peach cer­tain con­sti­tu­tional of­fi­cers is con­sis­tent with the Con­sti­tu­tion. The High­est Law of the Land has pro­vided for a process within which the rights of the per­sons con­cerned can be pro­tected, and that, too of the state.

Third, that the con­flicts, po­lit­i­cal and oth­er­wise, are ex­pres­sions of the sound­ness of our democ­racy.

Fourth, the fact that we are aware of the “trou­bling re­al­i­ties” in our world to­day at­tests to the health of the free­dom of me­dia and of our ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion.

Tun­ing in to the “good news” al­lows us to bat­tle de­spair. It helps us find hope amid chaos.

It en­cour­ages the brain to think pro­duc­tively. It frees our spirit from the bondage of the “wal­low” syn­drome” and al­lows it to soar into the realm of hope.

No mat­ter what, there’s al­ways Good News.

I pray you find it to­day.

*For feed­back, please email it to an­tipoloc­i­ty­gov@gmail.com or send it to #4 Horse Shoe Drive, Bev­erly Hills Sub­di­vi­sion, Bgy. Bev­erly Hills, An­tipolo City, Rizal.

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