To choose hope is to step firmly forward into the howling wind, baring one’s chest to the elements, knowing that, in time, the storm will pass.
— “The Book of Joy” by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu
I love this quote. The case for pessimism is hard to refute when we live in a very imperfect world, with various struggles and strife.
There has been this undercurrent of fear for many since November 8th. The tensions and animosities that marked the marked the election have only increased in the days between Election Day and Inauguration Day. With January 20th only a few days behind us there is this sense for many that life is going to be faced with arduous trials, but that doesn’t mean we need to live in despair. We have to have optimism, to have hope.
It is such an elusive word. How do you describe hope?
We all know what wrong is when we see it. We may not even have an exact name for it. Sometimes it is nothing more than gut feeling, but we know it. The same is true of the expectation that comes with hope, the trust the comes with optimism. We just know it.
Like pessimism, optimism is a feeling. Hope, however, is a conscious choice. It’s far too easy to wallow in the woe is me. We have to actively choose to have hope.
Hope makes us believe that things will be okay. It is a great support which makes us not give up easily, because it makes us believe that situations will eventually get better and can be solved. Hope finds out bright lines even in utmost darkness. It lets one to think miracles even in impossible situations. Someone who has hope will usually continue hoping. Hope makes our life have more motivation to continue and carry on in hard situations.
If one cuts off hope, it ultimately cuts off life. The desire to get involved in making the world a better place is not a bad instinct, it’s a necessary one. It’s how we have survived. It’s how we will survive.
Having hope is an active, decisive mindset etched into every single moment. No matter the haze and fog that clouds our vision, hope cuts through, never losing sight of the stars behind the clouds.
Hope is not the promise that it will be easy, but the faith that we will get through it.
And we will.
Writing Our Lives #52essays2017 challenge – Week 4
A year-long weekly personal essay/memoir/creative nonfiction writing challenge. To learn more about this challenge or to participate, check out Vanessa Martir’s website and learn about it.