I was in need of a dose of hope and optimism today. I try not to read negative news stories because they disturb me but sometimes I do it anyway. A cousin I am very close to is undergoing chemotherapy and the side effects make her sick and that upsets me too.
So I needed an optimistic story and I found one. The article at HuffPost titled, "Formerly Illiterate Lobsterman, James Arruda Henry, Becomes Author at 98." That's exactly the kind of uplifting story I needed today. "Never give up, keep persevering, you can do anything at any age, if you keep trying." I need to be constantly reminded of that. I say affirmations all the time, I recite the psalms during prayer, but sometimes the problems of individuals and the world seem overwhelming.
But when you read about someone like James Arruda Henry who was illiterate and had to hide it all the while he was a lobster boat captain and how at 98 his self-published collection of autobiographical essays is now being read in elementary schools, you realize it's never to late to pursue dreams and to attain them if you work hard and stay the course.
He told the Associated Press, "I didn't think it was going to go too far....I couldn't read or nothing. I tell you it makes me a very, very happy man to have people call me and write letters and stuff like that."
There are so many happy stories of good people attaining dreams and that gives me hope for my dreams.
The other night when I turned on the TV, it was late and I switched to EWTN and there was Pope Benedict in Cuba. He looked tired as he should be at his age and yet amazingly he is doing so much good, sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, even at his age. He's 85, still traveling and I thought to myself, "How wonderful that he can do that, still be so vital and share so much." I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. I was a child but it was a frightening experience to go through. And there was Pope Benedict decades later bringing the healing Mass to Cubans and to the world. He brought the healing ritual of the Mass and his presence and that was enough.
"With God all things are possible." Optimism and hope, along with faith in God can bring light to the darkness in our world.