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The myth of Pandora's Box is one that's at least somewhat familiar to most of us. The gist of it is Zeus had Hephaestus create the most beautiful woman. He made her out of clay and Zeus brought her to life. They called her Pandora. Pandora was given to Prometheus' brother Epimetheus as a bride with one caveat: the box (or jar) that came with her wasn't supposed to be opened. One of those things Pandora had been gifted with was curiosity so when her husband wasn't around she opened the lid a little to see what was inside. All of the terrible things in the world came rushing out, followed at the end by a small light. This last little thing was hope.
There are many terrible things in this world, though they aren't brought about evil spirits escaping from a box. They are the result of mankind's decisions and delusions. But the one thing that is constant, that keeps people from being torn down completely, is hope.
Hope is there as a constant companion to despair. For some, it is the faintest glimmer, a grain of sand against the tides of darkness. For others it grows to outshine even the tiniest fragments of shadow. Hope is the one thing in this world that we shouldn't lose.
I listen to the news and hear the stories about Syria. I wonder how those people even keep going. For them, I wonder how they keep going. What allows them to get up every day and look out at their world. It's a war torn disaster area where so many atrocities have been committed that there are faint talks of the Western nations getting involved in things. What keeps them going?
I believe it's hope. Hope that they will be able to flee the area and find peace and a new home in another country. Hope that the conflict will stop and things will be peaceful again. Hope that those who have come in from the outside to help will bring a solution. Hope that perhaps when their children are grown this will all be a terrible memory, a black spot in history. I have no idea how they can be so strong in the face of so much and I must believe it's hope.
Pandora's box may have been opened to let the evils out into the world. Humanity may have made some horrible choices. But we have to be grateful for – and encourage in others – the concept of hope.