No Other Choice

What Prevents Me From Falling into Despair

Sharon Pillai
2 min readJul 28, 2022


Photo by Evgeni Tcherkasski on Unsplash

From the news:

Millions of acres of Roundup saturated soil that has loaded our food with toxins and leached out the good medicine that naturally occurs inside plants when they are grown in proper, non-chemicalized conditions. Then that poisonous topsoil is washed into the vast reaches of the Mississippi basin spreading autism, Alzheimers, cancer in its wake.

Scientists are warning that the smoke in the air from wildfires raging in our state can potentially cause lung damage.

Anything about guns.

‘President Trump did not fail to act. . . He chose not to act,’ Jan. 6 panel says.

At the end of 2021 at least 19 states passed 34 bills restricting access to voting.

Anything about the Supreme Court.

The richest 1% own about half of the value of all shares of stock. The richest 10% own more than 80%.

From my streets:

People have given up wearing masks indoors. My neighbors are mostly strangers. We pass each other in the street as if we are both invisible.

From my mind:

What a sorry nation we are when our internal rot, corruption and inhumanity is incessant and the outward face we proudly wear for all to see.

I am by nature a pathological optimist. It is hardwired in me. It is the granite upon which my outlook stands. But these days are creating such heavy turbulence that even my footing no longer feels secure.

How then to keep on keeping on? Even when it is against formidable odds where all the powers that be are lined up against our better angels? How do you keep on believing we can get it right when so much of our country’s life feels overtaken by dark forces far beyond our reach, let alone our control?

Maybe this will help:

“Black folks in this country never gave up… .

People need to take their place in the long chain of history and do what is required and necessary to make things better.

Do what James Baldwin said to do: Earn your death. Earn your death by confronting with fortitude and honesty the conundrums of life. Earn your death by the way you live. ”

-Tim Wise-

I believe in this example of fortitude. Never give up no matter how dark. It’s the only choice we have. Keep on moving forward till you get through or if you don’t make it all the way there, remember to pass the torch to the person behind you.



Sharon Pillai

Priming the writing pump until it all flows, it's been said that paradise is right in front of us, trying to make my way there