Be The Light At The End Of Someone Else's Tunnel


Be The Light At The End Of Someone Else's Tunnel. Picture of the daylight at the end of a railway tunnel.

What Does It Mean To Be the Light?

"I can't cope with life, I just don't want to live any more," says a woman's softly spoken voice. "Nobody has listened, I just want to go to sleep and not wake up."

Mick, head in hands, tries to reassure her.

"I know that feeling," says Mick, "but there is a light that is stronger than the darkness...

"I just don't want to live, Mick, I'm in a dark tunnel and can't get out," says the woman.

He pleads with her. "There's always hope..."

Mick wants others who have had troubles to find hope - just like he has. In his 20s, Mick was a drug dealer consumed by cocaine and violence. He has now found faith and feeds the poor at his Church On The Street in Burnley, UK.



    To be the light at the end of someone else's tunnel of darkness means to offer hope, encouragement, kindness and compassion to someone else who needs it.








Believing There Is A Light At The End Of The Tunnel

A notable proponent of believing in the light at the end of the tunnel was  the late James Stockdale, former US vice presidential candidate, naval commander and prisoner of war during the America-Vietnam war and who survived 8 years of imprisonment and torture.

Stockdale had an unshakeable faith that he would eventually, one day, be released and return home to his family:

“I never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.”

But Admiral Stockton balanced his faith in the light at the end of his tunnel with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of his everyday reality as prisoner of war.

Stockton had no place for optimism:

“The optimists... Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart..."

"You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."

This balance between  realism and hope in a dire situation has become known as The Stockdale Paradox.

The UK journalist, broadcaster and Rector Giles Fraser echoes this point:



    Optimism is generally fueled by denial, a refusal to face the darkness. It’s a kind of holiday from reality.

    Hope, on the other hand, is a much more belligerent emotion. It stubbornly dwells in the darkness yet refuses to be beaten by it.

    You can only see the light if you are prepared to sit in the dark. Stay in the dark and look for the light.








But What About Those Of Us Who Travel Most Of Our Way To Heaven By Night...


Those Of Us Who Travel Most Of Our Way To Heaven By Night


Admiral James Stockton and the Rev Giles Fraser are both men of faith

Stockton was a believer in Stoicism and a keen follower of Epitetus and Fraser is a believer in Christianity.

What about those of us of little or no faith?

What about those of us who feel that we have been so let down by life that faith in anything is just a chimera, an illusion, a wisp of smoke on the breeze...?

I want to offer a perspective that is grounded in my own experience. I am experiencing intractable problems that I have lived with for over 20 years and that from time to time cause me to feel so full of despair and shame at my inability to resolve them that I don't want to carry on.

Let me just make clear that I am very blessed in many areas of life and I am surrounded by supportive caring friends and family, and that thankfully I am not depressive. I also know that compared with so many I lead a privileged life.

But nevertheless, the attrition factor of the constant keeping on keeping on sometimes feels too much, and the older I get the stronger this feeling becomes, but I have learned 3 things:

  1. That there maybe no single all encompassing solution that will allow me, with one jump, to be free and until there is, I face a continuum of experiences to each of which I have a choice as to how I will respond.
  2. It is the cumulative and compounding effect of these responses that will transform my situation.
  3. The most powerful key to seeing the light at the end of my personal tunnel is to shift my focus away from myself and my situation and look for opportunities to be the light to someone else.

This website is one such way. Every time I write and post another article, I hold in mind the hope that somewhere, sometime, someone will read it and it will become a light at the end of their personal tunnel of darkness.




    In seeking to be a source of inspiration, compassion and support to others you are igniting and fueling the flame that shines at the end of your tunnel, and that will illuminate your darkness.







Further Reading:



Next Article: Asking The Right Questions

Return from "Be The Light" to: Walking The Talk

Or to: What Is Spirituality?


Contact me




English Chinese (Traditional) Russian French German Italian Spanish Vietnamese


LATEST ARTICLES

  1. Situational Communication - Different Strokes For Different Folks

    Situational communication is about taking account of 3 often ignored factors about the other person. You are a situational communicator when you recognise that effective communication is not an event…

    Read More

  2. How To Influence Without Authority - 6 Key Tips

    The secret to how to influence without authority is that you get what you really want by giving other people what they really want. We live in an interconnected world and knowing how to influence with…

    Read More

  3. Change Questions To Change Your Outcomes

    Asking The Right Questions Is Critical For A Successful Change. Every time we initiate a significant change - whether in our personal life or in an organisation - we will most likely over-estimate our…

    Read More

  4. Group Culture - The Invisible Software That Rules Your Life

    Group culture is: "How we do things round here". We like to see ourselves as free agents making our own choices and living authentically but the reality is that The Matrix has many layers and we are u…

    Read More

  5. Why Getting From A to B Is Not Aways A Straight Line

    In circumstances of significant change, the progress from A to B will not be in a straight line. We run our lives largely on auto-pilot. In most circumstances your experience of getting from A to B is…

    Read More

  6. The Art Of Persuasion Planning For Success - Here's How To Do It!

    To be successful in the art of persuasion you must ensure that certain things happen. To be successful in the art of persuasion you must establish a framework of what has to happen to get you to that…

    Read More

  7. The Art Of Persuasion Advanced Communication Skills - Gaining Buyin

    Create The Environment Where They Want To Buyin to Your Proposal In order to build the win-win you have to uncover what it is that the other person really wants or needs, and to do that you have to as…

    Read More

  8. The Art Of Persuasion The One Fundamental Principle - Create A Win-Win

    The art of persuasion is based on the simple idea that you get what you want by enabling the other party to get what they want. Being a nice friendly person with good inter-personal skills may be a go…

    Read More

  9. Communication Persuasion And Change - Key Skills To Survive & Succeed

    It's not the strongest that survive, nor the most intelligent, but those who are most responsive to change, the most persuasive, and the best communicators. We are living in an age of unprecedented ch…

    Read More

  10. The Eisenhower Box - What Is Important Is Seldom Urgent

    What Is Important Is Seldom Urgent And What Is Urgent Is Seldom Important. The Eisenhower Box is a time management and decision-making model devised by President Dwight Eisenhower to help him prioriti…

    Read More

  11. Zen Enlightenment [Satori] - The Stink Of Zen

    Lost In Our Delusions About Enlightenment. There is something in human nature - a desire to glamorise, sanctify, objectify and idolise – that elevates people who have offered deep insights to the huma…

    Read More

  12. 5 Zen Mindsets For Mastery - In Any Area Of Your Life

    The Wisdom Of A Person Who Masters In Any Art Is Reflected In Their Every Attitude. The state and quality of your mind has a very large bearing on the quality of your performance in any area of life t…

    Read More

  13. Dealing With The Toxicity Of Online Dating - 6 Key Tips From A Clinical Psychologist

    Toxicity Is The Price Tag Of Accessibility. In the early days of online dating, users were vetted and had to go through a registration process and agree to comply with a code of conduct designed to en…

    Read More

  14. Why Understanding Ergodicity Is Critical To Your Long Term Survival

    How Not To Be Fooled By Randomness. Ergodicity is an ugly word from the world of mathematics. It is an umbrella term for two sets of conditions of probability and outcome. These two conditions form th…

    Read More

  15. Dealing With Imposter Syndrome - Ego Is The Enemy

    How You Frame A Situation Has A Profound Impact On How You Respond To It Emotionally. Imposter syndrome is a psycho-emotional experience of a fear of being found out as incompetent despite ongoing evi…

    Read More

  16. The Challenges Of The Road Less Traveled

    Issues You'll Face When Playing The Long Game. The challenges of the road less traveled is loosely based around the phrase popularised by M.Scott Peck with his book "The Road Less Traveled". This arti…

    Read More

  17. How To Benefit From the Unseen Margins - 5 Key Tips For Success

    These Unseen Margins Can Have A Very Dramatic Impact On Your Life. To understand how to benefit from the unseen margins we need to start by understanding what they are and where we find them. In this…

    Read More

  18. The Art Of Thinking Clearly - How To Do More Than Just Survive And Reproduce

    3 Key Tips The art of thinking clearly starts with the sobering realisation that our brains are designed to achieve two things: Survival and Reproduction! 98% of our thinking is unconscious, automatic…

    Read More

  19. Algorithms to Live By - 5 Useful Rules Of Thumb

    5 Useful Heuristics From Algorithms To Live By The thesis of the book "Algorithms to Live By" is that algorithms developed for computers can be used by people in everyday life in a wide range of situa…

    Read More

  20. Finding Signal In The Noise - How To Avoid The Noise Bottleneck

    The Art Of Being Wise Is The Art Of Knowing What To Overlook. We are blessed and cursed to live in the digital age. We have access to more information than we can possibly handle yet we struggle to fi…

    Read More

  21. The Checklist Manifesto - Your Personal Safety Net

    A Checklist Is A Safety Net That Encourages Better Results And Prevents Avoidable Mistakes. The volume and complexity of what we know has exceeded our individual ability to deliver its benefits correc…

    Read More

  22. How Not To Be Stupid - 4 Key Tips

    How To Avoid The 7 Causes Of Everyday Stupidity. We are all capable of everyday stupidity as we undertake routine tasks in our business and working lives and also in our personal lives. This is not ab…

    Read More

  23. Beginners Mind And The Voice Of Experience

    Only The Experts Survived Evolution. "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few." These are the famous words of Shunryu Suzuki in "Zen Mind, Beginner's Min…

    Read More

  24. The Art Of Being Alone Is A Skill

    Let's Make Today A Good Day. You may not have chosen the condition of being alone, and it may have been imposed upon you by circumstances beyond your control, but your response to the situation is wit…

    Read More

  25. Intuition & Anxiety - Are There Angels Or Devils Calling Here?

    How To Tell The Difference Between Intuition and Anxiety. How do you know whether the voice of your intuition is real or just the product of your inner anxiety? We all struggle with these inner voices…

    Read More

  26. Like A Prayer - Life Is A Mystery

    It Isn't The Process Of Prayer That’s The Problem, It’s The Way It’s Framed. Regardless of what we feel about Madonna or her song the topic of prayer often arouses strong reactions. Usually, it is som…

    Read More

  27. Fear Of Missing Out - "I'll Have What She's Having!"

    We Follow The Herd - We Mimic Other People's Choices. Fear of missing out - or FOMO as it is popularly referred to - is the feeling that everyone else in your peer group is having much more fun than y…

    Read More

  28. Free - Self Improvement Resources

    Exercising Balance and Discernment. I have just updated these self improvement resources with a number of additional sources of material that are practical and can help you change your life. Check it…

    Read More

  29. Your Higher Self - Your Hardwired Portal To The Universe

    This Is The You That Is Beyond Your Thinking Mind. This is the big you, the transcendent you, the you that is often referred to as your higher consciousness or higher self. This is the you that acts a…

    Read More

  30. The Power Of Gratitude - It's Good For You!

    Gratitude And Attitude Are Not Challenges, They Are Choices. The power of gratitude quite simply is that it is good for you! Many of us were raised by parents who instilled in us the social niceties o…

    Read More



Get new posts by email:









Zen-Tools.Net





Support This Site