The India I grew up with is very different than today. Without belaboring the point, in the mid-sixties I struggled to find Hope. It was as if there was nothing to be proud of and little to aspire to. The best goods were exported, obvious problems ignored, and everyone struggled for something to be proud of.
There are rational explanations for each point. Foreign exchange earnings were in short supply, so exports were critical. Anywhere you looked, you found overwhelming problems. Talent, ideas, and resources were in short supply; ignoring unsolvable problems was a way of surviving and living to fight another day. When you are battered, treated with little or no respect, and have nothing to show for competitive efforts, it can be hard even impossible to stand up proudly.
Looking back, it is hard to see how everyone missed the obvious. There was a resiliency and creativity within the heart of India that has competed on the world stage for more than a decade. Through corporate leadership, individual performance, and entrepreneurship, India can stall tall! Individual and team performance has emerged across a number of sports disciplines. Even as overwhelming problems remain, Indians are taking on the challenges of India and striving to make a difference.
While not everything is rosy, there is amble reason to be hope filled. I have come to appreciate that whatever I see, there is more. Yes, the problems are deeper and more complex than anyone realizes. At the same time, there is a generosity and compassion that remains stubbornly within the heart of many. When I read the Psalmist’s hope – “All sunshine and sovereign is God, generous in gifts and glory. He doesn’t scrimp with his traveling companions,” (Psalm 84.11) I know he was talking about the best India has to offer to itself and the world.
Hope is all around us, often hidden in plain sight. We may not see it, even within ourselves, but Divinity does. Divinity’s hope for us is to see our beauty and compassion displayed as we live life to the full.