When times get tough, humans show strength


Kyle Russell, Columnist

The end of the spring semester is rapidly approaching and for a lot of you that means graduation and moving on with your life. Whether you will be heading to a university or going directly into your career, you have a lot of life to live in front of you. You will meet wonderful new people, strengthen friendships, travel to new locations, and see amazing sights.  Life can be so wonderful when everything is going smooth. You feel like nothing can possibly bring you down from atop of the world.

Although we all want to stay in this state of mind, at some point or another, those once sunny skies will fill with clouds and a raging storms will brew. Times will get tough and you will be pushed to your limits, but in these times we get a glimpse of how strong the human spirit really is. It is not hard to see how some might think the times we live in are evil. Just turn on the television or open any newspaper and you will see first-hand just how unloving humans can be to each other. School shootings, gang violence, bombings, nuclear weapon threats, murders, suicides, child abuse, and riots in the streets dominate the headlines.

There is a journalist saying that is “if it bleeds, it leads.”  That alone gives you an idea of how vicious humanity is. Let’s be completely honest here, these news stories don’t affect us so much in the Illinois Valley, but the scary thing is that we have almost built up “numbness” to this information as we get used to hearing it on a daily basis. When we can turn a blind eye without feeling any emotions at all, how can we have empathy towards one another in our everyday lives? What will probably affect our futures the most is the lack of jobs right now in the United States. This once thriving and proud industrial nation has effectively sold itself out and relies on other countries to produce most of its goods.

Both adults and children sit overseas working in factories and sweat shops producing these products while making a fraction of what minimum wage is here. Because of lower wages in some of these countries the product is cheaper to make there, and businesses send the product there and all of the jobs that accompany it. This means that the chances of you getting that job that you have always dreamed of are going to be much harder than ever before as there will be more people competing for fewer positions. Added to the struggle to find that job is all of the school loans, credit card debt, car loans, and mortgages that keep building up. How will we feed our families, clothe our children, or put a roof over our heads when we can’t even afford to take care of our own basic needs? It is in these dark times that we will struggle the most, but also the times where we must endure more than ever before.

The hardships that we face will wear us down and drag us out but it is our job to pull ourselves to our feet and keep pushing forward. Perhaps it is time to refocus our faith in something other than what the world has to offer in terms of physical means.  If you look at every form of U.S. currency both in paper and coin format, you will find a bold four word phrase declaring “In God We Trust.” Maybe this nation needs to have faith that He will take care of our needs. Even if you do not believe this way, it is important that you place your faith in something.

For some it may be within other people. Whether it is family or friends, a strong support system will help you go much further in life especially when you need a hand or two to help get you back onto steady feet. Even in these dark times, always remember that every cloudy sky will once again give way to brighter days. As you keep moving forward in your life hold on to whatever it is that you believe and don’t let go of hope and faith. These tough days will come, but you will endure.