Joseph Conrad, author of Heart of Darkness, said that it was not necessary to believe that the world was good in order to be hopeful.
That is critical for me to remember…when the darkness of this world takes me by surprise, chases me into a dark alley of bitterness, or shocks me with its brutality.
Because I can live my life on a sunlit avenue, I can also fool myself into believing that the darkness doesn’t exist.
Then, darkness will intrude like an uninvited stranger.
Or, one day, I may take a new route home, turn the corner, and stumble upon shocking squalor or agony. There, I will collapse (along with my illusion) into a shell of myself, under a heavy blanket of despair…
…unless I prepare for it and bring my own light.