Hope amid chaos » Manila Bulletin News



Dr. Jun Ynares, M.D.

By Dr. Jun Ynares, M.D.


“Aren’t you terrified by the latest developments in the country and in the world?”

That was the question asked me last Sunday by a friend who goes to the same Church which my family and I attend. He wanted to find out if I was feeling the same way he did in the face of what he termed “adverse development.”

“Why should I?” I asked my friend in turn.

He went on to enumerate the recent events which he apparently found to be “adverse”: the move to impeach the chief justice of the Supreme Court, the Ombudsman, and the chairman of the Commission on Elections; alleged extra-judicial killing in the wake of the war against illegal drugs; the still-raging battle of Marawi; the issues hounding the budget given by Congress to the Commission on Human Rights.

“That’s just to name a few,” my friend underscored his point.

“So, what’s the good news?” I asked again.

“What do you mean ‘good news’?” he asked with a puzzled look.

“Take a closer look and you just might find it,” I said, with a smile.

Often, we find our minds saddled by the many things around us that are “going wrong.” We let the thoughts fester and we call it “reflection” or “analyzing.” Such activities are tiring – they sap our mental, physical, and emotional energies. Once the energies are exhausted, we may enter into a state called depression, or even despair.

“It is good to consider the things that are apparently going wrong in our lives and in our world,” another friend once shared with me. “But the process must not stop there,” he added.

This friend has a specific term to describe that state where a person allows thoughts about the things that are “going wrong” to rule his or her mind. He terms it “wallow.” “Wallow” refers to one’s inability to let go of his or her attachment to that feeling of being “down” because things are “going wrong.”

“How does one get out of a ‘wallow’ state?” I asked this particular friend.

“Ask the ‘magic question’,” he answered. I asked what the magic question is and this was his answer:

“When you catch yourself depressed by thoughts of how bad things are, simply ask yourself: so, what’s the good news?”

I have, since then, learned to apply the technique. When adversity hits, I simply ask the question, so, what’s the good news here.

Given the grim description of “recent developments” by my other friend, I saw the following good news.

First, that we have a Constitution in place and that the Constitution has provided us with the necessary framework within which we can address political disagreements or conflicts.

Second, that the bid to impeach certain constitutional officers is consistent with the Constitution. The Highest Law of the Land has provided for a process within which the rights of the persons concerned can be protected, and that, too of the state.

Third, that the conflicts, political and otherwise, are expressions of the soundness of our democracy.

Fourth, the fact that we are aware of the “troubling realities” in our world today attests to the health of the freedom of media and of our access to information.

Tuning in to the “good news” allows us to battle despair. It helps us find hope amid chaos.

It encourages the brain to think productively. It frees our spirit from the bondage of the “wallow” syndrome” and allows it to soar into the realm of hope.

No matter what, there’s always Good News.

I pray you find it today.


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