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Make the choice, to live or not, once and for all.

Mahmoud (Sandmonkey) Salem

Legend has it that when Prometheus stole fire from heaven, Zeus took vengeance by creating the first woman, Pandora, and presenting her to Epimetheus, Prometheus’ brother. With her, Pandora had a jar which she was not to open under any circumstance. Impelled by her natural curiosity, Pandora opened the jar, and all the evil contained inside, every kind of disease and sickness, hate and envy, escaped and spread over the earth. She hastened to close the lid, but the whole contents of the jar had escaped, except for one thing which lay at the bottom, and that was hope. When she opened the jar again, hope sprang free, and flew out into the world, a world that now held envy, crime, hate, disease – and hope.

We are comforted by the seemingly happy ending of this legend, but the truth is, it’s a false and misleading ending to the story. You see, hope is not what we think it to be. Hope was locked in Pandora’s jar for a reason. Hope was not a force of good, but rather the worst evil of them all; a demon so vile, it was hidden and buried deep in the bottom of the jar. Hope was a demon that fed on human suffering and aimed to prolong man’s torment as long as possible. It clutches itself to humans in their darkest hour and whispers in their ears to wait, to be patient, that the misery and suffering in the world must end and that all will be magically well some day. And the humans believed the demon and grew to feel comforted by its whispers, so when misery and decay takes over their lives, they remain calm, still and hopeful and end up suffering longer then they would, had they just confronted the evil that’s in the world. They lied to themselves and let it into their hearts, even though what they needed to do to fix the world didn’t require it one bit.

You see, upon further reading, we discover that hope, the demon succubus of our souls, alongside every other evil that was in that jar, can only be truly vanquished by Tabbris, the angel of self-determination, choice and free will. The truth that nobody told you was this: you don’t need hope. You never did. Even at your darkest hour, it wasn’t necessary. What you truly needed to overcome adversary was determination; to make the choice to face the evil and the suffering head-on, without blinking or hesitation, or hope. I  urge you to remember the evidence of this throughout human history; that those who fought the great wars of old, those who faced the might and machines of evil men, they did it without hope and they confronted it directly and fiercely regardless, which is why they won.

So, if what’s going around in your life, your country, or in the world, is terrifying you and the situation seems so gloomy and ominous to the point where you admittedly claim to have lost all hope, well, be glad, for getting rid of it is half the battle. Once you are at that point, all that is left for you to do is to make a choice. You can either decide to vanquish the rest of the evil, the source of your suffering, if you wish to live, or you can choose to run away, forever prey to suffering and misery and a possible quarry to hope again. If you make the second choice, you will live the rest of your life a victim, without having any power over it, which, when you think about it, isn’t a way to live, at all.

So please remember, when the world is at its darkest, when your friends fail you, when your allies betray you by their malice, cowardice or capitulation, when your best-laid plans fall into disarray and all seems lost, please, abandon all hope, for it only buys evil time… and make the choice, to live or not, once and for all.

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