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We are eighteen days into the new year. Don’t give up on life.

Why do I say this? As I listen to people around me, I hear a common theme: confusion and hopelessness. Most of it stems from a lack of something: time, money, relationship, vision.

I pray that you don’t fall into this group, those who might be ready to give up on it all, strap on a V.R. headset, and vanish into the unreality.

I hope you will look at the stacked decks in front of you, shake off the myriad of “no’s” that have been hurled your way, push past the lack of help (whether that be employees or friends), and keep going.

It’s worth it.

Let me repeat it: it’s worth it.

But why? What makes going through the trials of life worthwhile?

Many things. But here’s one you won’t hear from teachers, philosophers, politicians, and news reporters: you were created and put here for a reason, at this moment, at this time. You were put into a family—no matter what it looks like—and given friends that you need and that need you.

Life is not about work. Life is most definitely not about money. But as Mr. Shirley says in Christmas Vacation, “It’s people that make the difference. Little people like you.” (I’m little too, so don’t get mad).

So, don’t stop. Don’t give up on life and give in to despair. Face it. Determine why that situation makes you want to give up and do something about it.

I leave with you two songs that have helped me in times of sadness and hopelessness.

The first is “Fragile” by Sting. Here are the words—let them sink in.

If blood will flow when flesh and steel are one
Drying in the color of the evening sun
Tomorrow’s rain will wash the stains away
But something in our minds will always stay
Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetime’s argument
That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could
For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are

[Chorus] On and on, the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are how fragile we are

The second song is “Everybody Hurts” by Michael Stipe and R.E.M.

When your day is long
And the night, the night is yours alone
When you’re sure you’ve had enough
Of this life, well hang on

Don’t let yourself go
‘Cause everybody cries
Everybody hurts sometimes

Sometimes everything is wrong
Now it’s time to sing along
When your day is night alone (hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go (hold on)
If you think you’ve had too much
Of this life, well hang on

‘Cause everybody hurts
Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts

Don’t throw your hand, oh no
Don’t throw your hand
If you feel like you’re alone

Don’t throw your life away because you regret things. Don’t tune out of life because it hurts more than you can bear. Find someone who will listen—friends, parents, or even pastors of a good church—and tell them the truth. Spill your guts.

Don’t suffer alone. Again, don’t give up on life.

Because you’re not alone.

We’ve all been there.

See you next week,


Christopher F. Dalton

Christopher F. Dalton is a writer, author, illustrator, small business owner, but more than that he is a follower of Christ, a husband, a father of three stellar sons, and friend in need. He and his wife run Huck&Dorothy, an entertainment company.