Courage to Be Human and Divine
Late Pope John Paul’s daily slogan “do not be afraid” helped him to combat his way towards great heights in sanctity and heightened successful performance during his 26 years of papacy. His humble beginnings as Pope and his rising popularity and a rare combination of his humour, smiling face and attractive personality won him great appreciation and acceptance across the globe. The worldwide media branded him as a ‘hard working and courageous Pope’. I had the most rare opportunity to assist him during the last three days of his agonizing hours of life. He struggled till the end to keep himself serene and lucid and the media people were wondering at how he could resist and be so strong till his last breath and were able to say boldly “amen” to the Lord.
In the early nineteenth century, a young man in London aspired to be a writer. But everything seemed to be against him. He had never been able to attend school more than four years. His father had been thrown in jail because he couldn’t pay his debts, and this young man often knew the pangs of hunger. Finally he got a job pasting labels on bottles in a rat-infested warehouse, and he slept at night in a dismal attic room with two other boys from the slums of London. He had so little confidence in his ability to write that he sneaked out and mailed his first manuscript in the dead of the night so nobody would laugh at him. Story after story was refused. Finally the great day came when one was accepted. True, he wasn’t paid for it, but one editor had praised him. One editor had given him recognition. He was so thrilled that he wandered aimlessly around the streets of London with tears rolling down his cheeks.
The praise, the recognition that he received through getting one story in print changed his whole life. If it hadn’t been for that encouragement, he would have spent his entire life working in rat-infested factories. You may have heard of that boy. His name is Charles Dickens