We all need a little bit of hope

Published: March 16, 2007 | 5782nd good news item since 2003

There’s a quaint prayer that asks the Good Lord to give us strength to make changes, and also accept things we cannot change.

No mention of hope, but it’s pretty much inferred.

A wise man I know told me the other day that we should all strive to take more out of life than it takes out of us. Truer words have never been spoken.

“We should not let our fears hold us back from pursuing our hopes,” John F. Kennedy once said.

Previously, Dale Carnegie said: “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”

Human beings are a funny lot. Not the Robin Williams funny, but odd, strange and peculiar. We are quite brilliant at times, capable of much good. But we are also prone to physical and emotional setbacks, which affect our ability to change the world. We suffer, inwardly and outwardly, from time to time. As tough as we think we are, we hurt, more often than we should.

God has bestowed upon us many wonderful qualities. But immortality and super strength were not among his blessings. We wouldn’t know how to handle such things anyway and make a total mess of such powers.

In the absence of perfection, we warm-blooded bipeds call upon rather unscientific methods to deal with modern life. We rely on our instinct; follow our hearts; muster up faith and always have hope.

For many, hope is all they have.

When I look in the mirror on a daily basis and come to the conclusion that I’m somehow hard done by, I think of families in Third World nations, huddled under leaky roofs, or children begging in crowded market squares for their survival. I admire those, young and old, who venture off to far-away lands and build wells, schools and help locals learn to farm.

If I were younger and had the means, I’d pack up the whole family and travel to help the needy and provide “hope.”

You see hope can be as powerful as green tea, vitamins or antibiotics.

Hope comes from many sources. It can come from within, typically summoned during times of need or emotional turmoil. If we look for it, we usually find it, but we may have to dust it off and plump it up a bit.

Hope comes from our loved ones.

When I hear my kids laughing uncontrollably, I crack a smile. It’s contagious, you know. When I look into their eyes and hear them talk about the future, I beam, not so much with pride (for I really didn’t do anything) but with anticipation and yes, hope.

In my own little way, I have tried to make the world a better place. But my efforts will hopefully pale in comparison to the yet-to-be-witnessed achievements of my younglings. Poised for greatness, all. And I’m not saying that because I’m their dad, but because I truly believe they will take the world by the hands and lead us to a tiny bit of salvation. Why do I say this?

The current movers and shakers are still stuck in the mud when it comes to coming up with real solutions to global warming and our ozone layer, world hunger, world peace, the world’s food supply, etc. Heck, in most cases, we can’t even come to an agreement. We are at the height of our technological prowess and can gather the world’s brightest minds to cure what ails us. And yet, we don’t.

We spend a great deal of time and effort on making automobiles and plasma TVs, improving special effects in movies and coming up with more creative reality TV shows. Like that’s what the world needs. Perhaps TV producers, selfhelp gurus and motivational speakers should all travel to Africa or Asia and roll up their sleeves and help the natives with a good, old fashioned work ethic.

That would provide some hope.

Hope, faith and prayer alone won’t solve our problems.

But those very human qualities will go a long way to altering the fabric of our lives.

Armed with such intangibles, we peculiar humans often rise to the challenges before us. We emotional creatures have proven to be loving to a fault. And we average working stiffs have shown great courage and compassion to our friends and neighbours.

While we don’t readily recognize hope or point it out to others, it’s always there, just under the skin. It’s the fuel in our tanks, the immeasurable substance that boosts our immune systems and gives us that extra spring in our step (or is that spinach?).

The beauty of hope is it’s easily shared with others. We can actually give it to someone else, through our thoughts, prayers and of course, actions. Once more of us begin to realize the power of this commodity, it will burn like a fuse and spread uncontrollably.

Imagine, throngs of citizens, gathering in town squares, or stopping for a moment while at work in theirs office towers, pausing and reflecting on reassuring optimism.

Hope, it’s in us to give.

Published in Values
See also: www.caledoncitizen.com
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