Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Jana Mathia
Gazette Reporter 

Still Hope


April 25, 2019

A trend in American society has been sliding away from the religious toward secular or just spiritual. Easter is a prime example with the Easter bunny gaining more popularity while the Christian observation just spikes attendance at church for the weekend. And, there are those who focus on the pagan ties to classic Easter symbols.

Regardless whether it is for the egg hunts or celebrating the resurrection of Christ, the holiday still serves as a reason for people to gather. They gather in homes, neighborhoods and church to enjoy the day as they see fit. They share stories and smiles, trials and sorrow. They share one of the most valuable and rare resources in our day and age: time.

Within the gathering and fellowship of family and friends can be found the truest virtue of Easter: hope. The Christian observance is the hope of life after death, hope of forgiveness. The pagan is the hope of new life. Even the Easter bunny brings hope; the hope of chocolate and goodies just laying around waiting to be picked up.

In the company of others, we can find hope to overcome personal struggles. Repeated studies have shown the correlation between social connections and happiness. In close and broad relationships, people find love, support and well-being. The better the relationships, the happier we are, the trends suggest.

On the other hand, people who are alone, isolated and cut off are generally unhealthier mentally, emotionally and physically. There are some exceptions, but there is a reason when you are really bad you are sent to solitary confinement―it's not for a vacation. One of the first classic red flags of a manipulative and controlling relationship is one person cutting the other off from their social connections and support.

Not all gatherings are fun and not all people do well with other people. But it just takes one person; one person to care, smile and share a hug. That one person can be found anywhere, at church, the home of a family member or at the city park. If people did not crave social connection, then there wouldn't be the emphasis on increasing the number of Facebook friends and followers.

The message of Easter is a beautiful one, even though it is not one everyone may believe. But, whether or not they believe the message taught in Sunday school, we all still feel the song of hope the season bring. An empty tomb or a house full of people, they both can instill hope in the human soul.


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