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Don't lose hope

Texas, USA

Benjamin Jowett:

"To teach a man how he may learn to grow independently, and for himself, is perhaps the greatest service that one man can do another."

I found this quote today on the internet and could not help but think of the situation in Tonga and in the world in general. Many of our fellow friends, and family have lost the very essence of what keeps a person going, Hope.

I am deeply concerned over what I read and what I see on the internet. I am in a wheel chair due to my health. I am only thirty nine years old and at one time in my life I had no hope. I was angry at the world and at people, my story may sound familiar too you, and you may have grown tried of hearing it. But three wonderful Tongan men taught me to have hope, they reached out to a stranger and showed that true friendship knows no color, it knows no religion, it can be between the young and the old, the sick and those who have health. It is one of our world's greatest gifts and it is the one of the base ingredients for hope.

I write this not as a non-thinking person who can't understand that there are no jobs, that supplies for hospitals, schools and other public services are low, that life is frustrating unfair, and the rich seem to get richer while the poor seem to get poorer. My letter is not about that, it is about hope, and those situations rob people of hope.

How then can we regain hope when we have lost it? One tool to regain hope is education. I am not so uninformed that I don't know what is going on in Tonga. Right now I know jobs are scarce, even with a degree sometimes it just is not enough. We in the United States went through same thing in the 1930's. The history books call it the great depression because people lost hope.

How then did they survive? Well, the first thing they did was they banded together as families, they supported one another, if one had a car and the other didn't, they shared. In those days a car was few and far between, just ask Grandma and Grandpa or Great Grandma and Grandpa how things were, take an afternoon and listen to some living history. They had community gardens, day care for kids, in other words the banded together not apart.

There are far too many people trying divide us when we should in these trying times be united. There is unity in strength, and Hope comes on the heels of unity.

During this time people still placed a great importance on education, they knew for the moment there were no jobs, but people knew that times would change. Time always makes things change sometimes for good, some times for bad, and sometime we just break even. But they knew change would come they were also smart enough and wise enough, like many of your well educated countrymen, to not give up, to still strive to get their education. For you see, when the door opens and it may take some time for that door to open, but the person who has the education will always come out on top over the uneducated. It is simple a matter of what the business world wants the business world gets, and education is one of the things it wants. Try getting a job without it when there is a job to get.

Hope then, is a wonderful thing one must work at it daily. Words such as gratitude, prayer, family, friends, and yes, even pets, can all give one hope.

But the bottom line about hope is that to have and to keep is your choice and your choice alone to have hope or not to have hope. We may not be able to always choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we react to what happens. It's what can make a good man great, and great man outstanding

What is your choice going to be? To hope or not to hope that is indeed the question?

It is my humble prayer that the lord will bless all the people of Tonga with hope. That they will have the things they need. That their families will be well and without want, and that peace will always be throughout the Land of Tonga

All My Love

Larry Norton
Fort Stockton, Texas

clynn [at] nwol [dot] net