The earth's current condition, including the wars, the poverty, the global impoverishment, the bank failures, the increased criminal and terrorist activity, and the deterioration in air quality has plunged its leaders and much of the populace into a state of despair. There are sixteen stages of despair that begin with an acknowledgement that one is incapable of dealing with certain circumstances. They span the spectrum from feeling stopped and incapable of moving forward, to being profoundly depressed.
The sixteen progressive stages are:
1. Defining the problem and realizing that you do not have a solution.
2. Recognizing that no genuine solutions exist in your realm of knowledge and experience.
3. Becoming alarmed.
4. Becoming angry.
5. Becoming angry with God.
6. Becoming angry with friends and colleagues who seek to draw your attention to the issue.
7. Becoming angry with family members.
8. Resorting to the status quo.
9. Implementing changes to the status quo.
10. Elevating the status quo to the level of solution.
11. Restricting the knowledge of the problem and the sense that there appears to be no solution.
12. Restricting the knowledge of the problem as it affects you, and your personal lack of a solution.
13. Calling on everyone affected to restrict the knowledge of the problem, and pretend that there is no problem.
14. Becoming emotionally depressed.
15. Surrendering to the problem.
16. Becoming profoundly depressed.
If you arrive at the sixteenth stage of despair, it could be a sign that you should visit a psychiatrist. Prior to then, most healthy individuals have the capacity to break out of the pattern of despair. They begin to proactively seek and implement the elements of hope and faith.
There are nine elements of hope:
1. Recognizing that a physical solution does not exist in your realm of knowledge.
2. Calling on a higher spiritual power for help and guidance.
3. Testing the guidance offered to ensure that it has the capacity to produce a viable solution.
4. Finding a different source of spiritual guidance with a potentially better and more viable solution.
5. Connecting to the source through any means possible.
6. Implementing all possible viable solutions.
7. Implementing all solutions offered, and recognizing that every spiritual solution that comes from above is worth trying.
8. Recognizing that the problem is always spiritual, and therefore the solution must always be spiritual.
9. Surrendering to God, the author and perfecter of our faith.
When despair turns to hope, we begin to see that every problem we can possibly encounter always has a spiritual solution.