Things have been bleak lately: So how do we get past it? (A human side)


December 5, 2012 by John Buckley

* Stick with it, we try to get past the bleakness

Bleak, a word I don’t use too lightly, but I arrived home today and exhaled. You know that way, pushing all the breath out of your body, until there’s no more left in there. ‘Bleak’ I thought. The last few days in particular, for many of my friends, has shown me that life is often laden with injustice, with hurt, with struggle, with tears and yearning. And it hit me today along with the budget, human rights abuses, apathy….

I thought to myself, this can’t be the first time, we as humans have faced struggle. Why do we get through it? Is it a survival instinct? Why do we tolerate it, bear it, put up with it?

I thought then about the little things that get me through the day, the things that make me smile, that remind me of basic human nature, and our amazing world. The parts that when we’re all stripped down, we represent. The bits that we actually live for!!! These are the bits I live for, that keep my fight burning:

  • That hug, the one you desperately need, that’s delivered with such warmth and kindness, that doesn’t make it better but makes it feel like it will be ok
  • The sound of wind on a manky night, howling!
  • Catching someone’s eye and sharing a smile with a complete stranger, wondering what they were thinking
  • Meeting someone you’ve never met and finding out you’ve a million things in common, chatting for hours and maybe then never again
  • That feeling of a little bit of winter sun on skin, just for a second
  • The text message from a friend when you think that no one in the world even knows you exist anymore
  • The person who holds the door open for you while you both fight over who should ‘go ahead’.
  • The motorist who lets you cross the road for no reason
  • The phone call answered at 2am, ‘everything will be ok’.
  • That rush of love in your heart for someone or something
  • The feel of the sea on my skin after an hour in the water.
  • That moment before you kiss someone you’ve been waiting to kiss, where you’re not sure if it will actually happen or not
  • That feeling inside when someone is speaking with such vigor and passion from the bottom of their heart
  • Turning up music to as loud as it can go and listening through your bones
  • Having someone listen to you moan about rubbish that’s not even important and getting you through it
  • Seeing a parent with their child, with so much love in their eyes, knowing they’d do anything to protect them.
  • The compliment offered by strangers or friends alike even though you feel rotten.
  • Taste of the most delicious meal, not because it’s delicious, but because someone put such effort into it just for you.
  • The fact that when you look at every face you see during the day they are different and beautiful in their own way.

The list goes on for me and I know it will be different for you. There’s nothing new there. It’s all the things that we see every day. I’m not saying this makes things better, but some times we’ve got to be mindful of them. They are fleeting but we’ve got to hang onto them and wait for the next round.


I know I’m very lucky too, all of those things I value and I have been lucky to have. I know not everyone has had the opportunity. That’s why I don’t forget, that’s why I don’t give up my fight.

Find your list, write it out, and don’t forget it. And don’t forget that we all feel pain, we all struggle. So be that hug, that text, phone call, random stranger…be and embody all that is good in human nature. Share it.


One thought on “Things have been bleak lately: So how do we get past it? (A human side)

  1. Aislinn says:

    I really loved reading this. Your list is fantastic, and reminds me of all those little things that really do make those bad days feel so much better. Thank you for this!

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