How To Be The Hope & Joy That You Seek

It starts with us…

Nonggol Darapati
5 min readMar 5, 2024


Image: Pexels

I saw the trailer for the new Lindsay Lohan movie called Irish Wish. The background music for the trailer was Breathless by The Corrs.

That song brought me back to the early 2000s. It has been several years, but it feels like a whole other life time and another world. The year 2000s were the golden age of romantic comedies. The guy next door would fall in love with his best friend, and they would live happily ever after.

The world we live in today feels much different than it used to be. Everything seems harder and more challenging than ever before. It feels like we’re constantly running on a hamster wheel that we never signed up for and can’t seem to get off.

Despite all the technological advancements that we’ve made, life hasn’t gotten any easier. If anything, it’s become more difficult. With social media, we now have access to see how everyone else is living their lives. This has made us more hungry and insatiable than ever before. We’re constantly seeking love, wealth, and fame, and we can’t help but compare ourselves to others who seem to have it all.

Instead of looking to our parents and try to do better than them, we are now looking to strangers who live on different continents who have an unobtainable lifestyle.

When we’re faced with the reality of our own lives, it can be hard to accept, and we become prone to feelings of anger and frustration.

Meanwhile, the world is also slowly burning due to climate change, and food has been transformed from being a necessity to becoming a privilege.

But what weighs on me is that today, people seem to be more apathetic. Despite two major wars taking place in the world, everyone seems to be indifferent.

Our social media feeds are still being flooded with grocery hauls and makeup unboxing videos. While women and children in war zones are struggling to eat.

Listening to The Corrs reminded me of a time when the world was full of possibilities and hope. Technology was once used for human advancements, such as medicine and exploring the unknown.

The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.

— Amanda Gorman

Today, technology is mostly used for monetary purposes on social media. And nearly every single content we consume is an advertisement.

From travel blogs to fashion styling, and beauty routines, every single content creator is creating content featuring products in the hopes of receiving partnership or sponsorship. This leads to a steady increase of mental health challenges every year, especially for teens.

And yet, despite all of this, there are still good people in the world who remind us that all hope is not lost. Recently, Dr. Ruth Gottesman donated USD 1 Billion to Albert Einstein College of Medicine to ensure free student tuition in perpetuity. It’s been some time since someone has done something so selfless.

Image courtesy: BBC

Is there a catch to this? Yes, the catch is Dr. Gottesman is 93 years old. After she’s gone, will our and future generations follow in her footsteps? It takes a lot to be selfless. And it takes a whole lot more of living a life filled with ups and downs to think of those less fortunate.

In our world today, kindness comes with a price. And that price is usually algorithms. We may think that the world is not in need of good Samaritans, but let’s not forget that despite the endless do good, feel good content across all social media platforms, how many of them are genuine?

Just like we can’t be everything for everyone, we also can’t film everything every time. Too many people need help, kindness, and empathy.

The good news is, that we don’t need to have the eyes of the world on us the way Princess Diana and Mother Theresa had the eyes of the world on them. We can start with something small that happens around us.

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.
― Rumi

If you happen to come across a hungry cat on the street, consider giving it some food. Similarly, if you see a homeless person, instead of simply walking past them, why not give them a few dollars? If you are a believer, you can also offer a prayer for them. After all, we all need help every now and then — that’s what makes us human. And if you are unable to provide any material assistance, since times are tough for everyone, you can still offer a prayer. Prayers are free.

Living in the digital, tech-filled world, it’s tempting to turn every single experience and part of our lives into content. But let’s remember that at the end of the day, we are humans, first and foremost. We are put on this earth to help each other. If we don’t help one another, what will become of humanity as a whole?

We live in a crazy world. One that is filled with despair, hopelessness, and selfishness. Instead of waiting for someone to bring us the hope and joy that we seek, let’s be the candle in the dark that illuminates the world.

It starts with us.