I used to see this old guy almost everyday on the way to my job. We weren't well acquainted, but I'd have a passing hello, sometimes a bit more. No longer than five minutes’ conversation at a time. He worked near my place of business, fighting everyday to keep himself afloat.
The man is no longer with us. Yeah, it’s a bummer, but I’m not about discussing endings today. Not beginnings, either. How about entrances? Yeah, I like that.
How one enters into things is usually most of the game. I started off talking about the older gentleman because he had more reasons to be cynical and downtrodden than I’ve had chance to accrue, and yet, he entered into every fresh encounter with something like hope in his eyes.
It’s strange that I say hope, but it seems the appropriate word. What was there to be hopeful about? Life had shown him the folly of hope more times than not, and more than that, what could possibly be gained by a trivial encounter and exchange of pleasantries?
I don’t think he knew what could be gained. Not exactly. It wasn’t something born out of cold calculation. More like humility. Here’s where I need work.
I’m not a preacher and I’m not sure what worth I have, but I do know right from left, and it might just be that a lack of humility kept me from understanding his hope. Hope probably can’t exist without humility. Not long anyway.
I don’t say this to because it sounds good. I say it because there’s truth in it. At least by my reckoning. Let’s make it succinct. If you’re not humble, you’re telling the world you know everything. If you know everything, there’s no need for hope. How can you be hopeful about something that’s certain? It’s logically impossible.
Ah, but you say that it’s probably better to be certain. Well—it’s certainly possible, but now we’re talking about a world where faith and love and hope cannot exist.
Sound too much like the Bible? Yeah, that was my first thought too. But some things that last, last for a reason.
I don’t know. I’m just trying to figure out why this guy was so freaking upbeat. This is what happens when I think too hard. Hopefully I’ll do better next time.
See you after.