Beyond Despair – How to navigate a world in crisis

Emilio Bazan Sanchez
4 min readApr 21, 2024

8:30 a.m.

I wake up. The soft rythm of my neighbor’s radio filters through the walls, mixing the latest headlines with the morning light. Amid the stream of numbers and urgent reports, a story catches my attention – faint yet poignant. It speaks of animals’ plight and our shared consciousness, a subtle reminder of the suffering we inflict upon them.

While wandering the familiar paths of my daily walk, I hear the murmur of voices tinged with concern, exchange the latest revelations of a human trafficking network entwined within Mexico City’s vast public transport system.

Their words conjure grim images of the countless young souls snatched from the fabric of our community, spirited away to fates unspoken. This stark reality, a shadow upon our city’s visage, is a haunting reminder of the silent battles fought in the hidden alleys of my homeland.

Empathy, suggests we are wired to care, yet our actions often feel too minuscule against the enormity of the world’s issues. Emissions rise from the hands of the few, yet the burden falls on the shoulders of the many.

United, our minds could forge paths to goodness, but we falter, tripping over the tangled roots of individual interests and societal divides. The potential for a better future flickers like a candle in the wind, vulnerable to the gusts of conflict and disease, yet not extinguished.

Peace is a delicate accord, easily shattered by the tremors of human discord, as the specter of nuclear conflict looms, ever-present. Yet, in the shadow of potential ruin, hope persists stubbornly. Even in a world that might crumble, reasons to fight, to lift each other and the least of us, remain.

In modern life, we are caught between the gentle pull of mindfulness and the fervent push of activism. Mindfulness whispers to us the ancient wisdom of stillness, urging us to savor each breath, each fleeting moment, to live with intention and awareness in the calm eye of the storm of daily existence. It invites us to witness the world in its raw beauty and pain without immediate reaction, to find peace in the present, to embrace serenity amidst chaos.

Yet, as we cultivate this inner sanctuary, the outer world clamors for our attention. Activism, impassioned and unyielding, calls us to arms. It is the embodiment of our collective conscience demanding we look beyond our own tranquility to the tumult that surrounds us. It is a call to not just be in the world, but to change it, to mold it into something better with the clay we are given.

This contrast is not a battle but a balancing act — a symbiosis where each informs the other. Mindfulness grounds us, offering clarity and compassion that can fuel our activist fires. In turn, activism brings the mindfulness spirit into the world, transforming empathy into action, stillness into steps forward. Together, they form the yin and yang of a purposeful life, one that acknowledges the need for inner peace as well as the imperative to act, to advocate, to fight for a world that aligns with the harmony we seek within.

In this relentless march of days, where despair and conformity beckon like sirens, their allure as deceptive as any mirage, we stand firm. These twin specters, cloaked in the guise of respite, are but the same beast with two faces, each a thief of potential. We must not surrender to their hollow embrace, for in the act of defiance, in the very rejection of apathy, we reclaim our future. Let us not be lulled into inertia, but instead step boldly into the fray, for it is in our braving the unknown with unwavering faith that we find our truest strength.

The horizon of the future unfolds, vast and radiant, inviting the mind to paint its uncharted expanse with strokes of beauty, love, and unyielding curiosity. Yet, it is the shadow of doubt that often blurs our vision of what could be, casting a pall over the brilliance we are meant to pursue. It is within our grasp to lift this veil, to stir the slumbering strength that lies within us all. On the brink of what’s to come, we stand as the architects of mankind’s most important era, privileged not just to dream but to act. The certainty of the future’s ever-changing nature lies in the hands of those who dare to believe in its construction. We must be the builders of an inspiring tomorrow, for its existance is assured only by the conviction and the hands of those who, in the beginning, deemed it possible.

FRODO: What are we holding on to, Sam?

SAM: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.

Gracias faty por tus sugerencias:)

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Emilio Bazan Sanchez

Aspiring neurotechnologist writing about math, humans and human enhancement. UNAM Undergrad studying applied math and neuroscience