Merriam-Webster defines despair as “to no longer have any hope or belief that a situation will improve or change”.  For some people, depression and the prospect of despair are ever present.  Winston Churchill suffered from depression, yet he urged the British people during the darkest hours of World War II to “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never – in nothing great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense . . .1

As a family law attorney, I regularly interact with people on the verge of despair.  This is to be expected.  It is a time when the constants of life morph into variables.  The world becomes a different place.  One can feel like a stranger in a strange land.

Knowing that despair is a dark hole that anyone can fall into, I try to remember that life is impermanent, and that change is constant. In this context, change is good, as it brings hope.

Nelson Mandela had this to say and I will leave it with you as a closing sentiment:  “There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not give myself up to despair.  That way lays defeat and death.”

by Patrick Gaffney

by Patrick Gaffney

1 Winston Churchill speech to Harrow School 10/29/1941.