Hundreds of passengers survived the Titanic. The most well known tragedy the sea has to offer had survivors. People who could say I was on that ship, it was a nightmare, but I made the lifeboats! Whatever you’re facing today, survival is more than a possibility. You just have to reach for the lifeboats.
In a new book, Shakespeare Saved My Life, Dr Laura Bates documents how one prisoner credits the playwright’s work for his survival. She also shares how those sessions changed other prisoner’s lives. The plays of a famous writer inspired others to live.
We hear it quoted often, it’s the only Shakespeare many know, but “To be or not to be” isn’t really the question. I much prefer another line of William’s. “Now, God be praised, that to believing souls gives light in darkness, comfort in despair.” Do we believe strongly enough in something to hold on? That’s the question that will propel us to survival.
At times, the most unexpected things bring hope. From World War II to the Persian Gulf, a comedian named Hope gave more than a bag of jokes to the troops. On face value it might not seem like much, but it connected them to home when they were far from it.
What could a baggy pants comedian do to relieve the burden of war? How could a long dead poet encourage a prisoner in solitary confinement? How could anyone survive one the greatest tragedies in history? They believed they could.
They made it to the lifeboats, and then they made it to the relief ship, and finally to shore. It happened in stages, you won’t get there overnight, but hold on, you’ll get there. Like the prisoner, you’ll learn some things along the way.
Above all, find ways of laughing, it will break up the tears, and remind you that there is hope. I don’t know what you’re facing, but you are not alone. There are people who care rooting for you, they’re in your corner.
Believe that whatever obstacles, no matter how invincible they look, are just delays. They aren’t going to stop you, they may slow you down, but they can’t make you quit. No one can, nothing has that power over you, you can make it! Hold fast, stand tall, and with God’s help, you can conquer whatever gets in your way.