THERE IS HOPE

A new year deserves celebration because it presents a fresh existential page with a backdrop of a message of hope. At the mention of a blank page, our thoughts fly to the Private Protestant Primary School of Soulédé in the Mayo Tsanaga division, Far North Cameroon. In that school, we discovered the inkwell, the blotting paper, and the old fashion fountain pen for the first time in March 1977. We were then in third grade. We came from Mokolo following our father’s transfer as a pioneer of the Soulédé agricultural post. Before this unforgettable experience, we only used chalk, pencil, and ballpoint pen to write. The first encounter with the fountain pen was a real obstacle course. The hardest part was to draw enough ink from the inkwell to soak the nib’s tip immersed in the indelible liquid without dirtying the page of the notebook. And, when by mistake, there was an extra drop of ink that stained the sheet; it was immediately necessary to use the paper blotter to limit the damage. The first few weeks were not easy. Fortunately, we had an exceptionally kind and patient teacher: Mr. KOENE Oumarou Joseph. In this context, we welcomed a new notebook page with thrilling joy each time we turned an old one with one or more stains. It was a golden opportunity to do better than on the previous page.

The example above illustrates the alternation of existential seasons in the life of a human being. If some years are delightful, others are less so; and none is perfect. Looking back on the past year, each person will find cause for joy, satisfaction, and praise. But she will also realize that other events were difficult, dark, regrettable, and painful. Therefore, should one sink into lamentations and discouragement, especially when comparing oneself to others who seem to have been more successful in life? It would be the worst mistake. Time spent, whether happy or unhappy, will never return. Hence, it is not wise to cling to it at the risk of blackening the new page of the notebook of life that the new year offers before even starting it. It is better to draw the necessary lessons and use them to go from progress to progress. Because as the Guinean mathematician Mouctar KEITA so aptly noted, “Every day is an opportunity to improve by correcting your imperfections.” This statement also applies to the New Year.

Whatever the previous year’s pains, losses, and failures, it is advisable to take life with philosophy. The Latin saying goes: “Dum spiro spero” (while I breathe, I hope). A failure can be the foundation of a resounding success in the future if one carefully examines the root causes and draws from it the necessary instructions to correct course where necessary. The fact that an investment does not yet bear the expected fruits should never lead to depression because when one is closer to the goal, discouragement knocks with more vivacity on the soul’s door. A bad harvest in the Sahelian zone has consequences that last at least a year, but the peasants do not give up fieldwork for this because they realize that the next season can be plentiful.

Along the same lines, the loss of a loved one should make the grieving person recognize that no matter how much their tears and lamentations, the missing person will never return to them again. When faced with this harsh reality, wisdom dictates to rise from mourning and joyfully serve those still alive, as King David once did (2 Samuel 12:13-22). It is, paradoxically, the best way to honor the dead. Moreover, disappointment should in no way lead to a negative view of all others because human beings are not the same on the one hand. On the other hand, faulty people can repent and change their behavior. The best wealth of a human being is life. We can hope, triumph, improve, and succeed as long as we live. The words of Romans 12:12 seem to be an excellent summary of this brief reflection: “Rejoice in hope. Be patient in affliction. Persevere in prayer. »

Happy new year under the benevolent gaze of the divine Master of life and time because there is hope!

Prof. Moussa Bongoyok

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by ANANI Jp on décembre 31, 2022 at 12:53

    Tant qu’il y a la vie il y a de l’espoir …Dum spiro spero” thanks Pr

    Réponse

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