There is a beautiful story reproduced and disseminated by the Indian Jesuit Anthony de Mello that sheds light on hope. He concludes it with this moral: All hope is the size of the heart that hopes. Let us remember that story:
“An old Indian fable tells that there was a mouse who was always anxious, because he was afraid of the cat. A magician took pity on him and turned him… into a cat. But then he became afraid of the dog. So the magician turned him into a dog. Then he became afraid of the panther, and the magician turned him into a panther. So he became afraid of the hunter. At this point, the magician gave up and turned him back into a mouse, saying: Nothing I do for you will help you, because you will always have the heart of a mouse”.
Many human beings – if the pandemic is overcome once and for all – will only aspire to have a good car, a well-paid job, to travel, a big house to live in, a respectable position… But their hopes will never motivate them in depth because their heart is dwarfed, reduced to its smallness and inconsistency. “All my hopes are in me”, wrote Terence.
The size of hope is measured by the inner stature of the person, by the capacity to broaden his horizons and to be happy. Happiness is nothing other than the ability to hope, that is, to believe in life. And that, as the saying goes, is “the last thing to be lost”. One can lack everything, one can be, like Robinson Crusoe, on a desert island. But if there is hope, anything is possible, even being happy on that desert island.
We live in a world of hopeless people. The number of loners in the big city, the increase of depression and suicide attempts, the lack of stimuli and illusions, the boredom and boredom, the material and consumer satiety block us and close us in a narrow horizon.
We were not created to last – as if we were driven only by Duracell batteries – but to live for the sake of living. Let us not let the love that God and many people have put in us rust. Life is made of moments and the reason to live is to believe that the next moment is worth living. Let us try to live the present moment with depth, gratitude and intensity, as Antonio Machado admirably put it: “Today is always still, all life is now”.
There are reasons to hope that are closer than we imagine: From the prodigy of a new day to someone to love, even if they do not return affection, through a smile, a song, and even the fluttering of an insect. In the insignificant the inconceivable emerges.
The simplest hope is closer to the truth than the most reasoned despair. It will never depend on the external, for the mouse does not lose its fears when it becomes a cat or a panther, if it retains its little mouse heart. God gives hope and broadens the soul.
Juan Carlos cmf