Tough times should bring out the best in us

Have you ever, at any difficult stage of your life, envisaged throwing in the towel and just walking away.

Have you ever, at any difficult stage of your life, envisaged throwing in the towel and just walking away.

In a nutshell, 2008 has been like that for me and I am certain many are in the same boat.

I am not, by any stretch of our infected imaginations, suggesting that we compete about the severity, the gravity, the complications and implications of our trials and tribulations.

However, I do want to impress upon each and everyone of us that life - by design, definition and experience - is not child's play.

Sylvia Browne, author of an insightful book about our experience of life and its aftermath, called The Other Side And Back, that I am reading for the second time in a row, poses a profound question. It sounds very simple yet it's so impressive and true.

"What have you learnt in life when it was easy?" Browne asks.

Her probing question has been ringing loudly in my ears since Irvin Khoza recommended it to me last year. Its loudness becomes deafening, particularly during my loneliest, most confusing, more stressful and especially demoralising times that I go through from time to time.

I realise I am speaking generally, but I do so honestly because that question has become my guiding principle when I truly feel like hanging up my battered gloves. And I truly believe that it can unfold a few mysteries in your own life as well.

I sincerely hope that it can be a guiding light as you go through your own personal rubble in the broader scheme of things that cause untold pain and anxiety and hopelessness.

This basic, piercing question is beautiful in the way it is posed because it does not prescribe nor does it restrict anyone that adversely derails the healthiness and the wellness and the speed with which we drive our lives.

This personal question seeks to assist us, individually, to find our own truths and it will therefore help us in dealing with that truth and hopefully finding lasting peace and contentment in the things we have accomplished, or those dreams we have failed to reach.

I humbly urge you, my brothers and sisters, from Palestine to Israel, Christians and atheists, Tutsis and Hutus, infected and affected, to re-dedicate ourselves to finding peace, harmony and tranquility in our lives. Not withstanding the negative historical circumstances that continue to haunt and shape our thoughts and attitudes towards one another as well as how to cope and deal with those anomalies that continue to haunt our consciences.

It is imperative that we seek and fight for justice and equality within our own inner souls before we attempt to change the world.

It is crucial that we find common ground and love and understanding and acceptance of our truths before we can hope to impact positively on anyone else. This is the greatest truth I learnt last year when my own ship was sinking, when my confidence was at its lowest ebb.

As we enter the new year, I pray that you can find peace in your soul and in others as well.

God bless all of you. I love you forever.