What Gives us Hope?


Hope is defined as a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one’s life. It is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.  When times get tough, many say that it is Hope, Love and Faith that get them through.

Hope has a very rich history that dates back Greek mythology (called Elpis).  When Pandora opened her box, she left out all evils but Hope. Throughout the ages, Hope has been called one of the worst evils as well as one of the greatest gifts of the Human spirit.   Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche states in Human, All Too Human that hope is the evil of most evils, while Emily Dickson writes “Hope’ is the thing with feathers– / That perches in the soul–.”

But how does Hope pertain to  life now?  And is it good or bad to the condition of the human spirit?  Maybe it is as subjective as art, after all someone in history must have thought the Mona Lisa really was not all that beautiful.

In one of my favorite movies Shawshank Redemption, Andy Dufresne defines Hope as “Something inside… that they can’t get to, that they can’t touch. That’s yours.”  I guess that is what I have always considered it -something that comes from the inside and bubbles up and out like a cool natural spring. That no matter how bad life or circumstances get, that there is always a belief that you can triumph. Some may consider hope as bad, keeping us hanging on for something that will never happen.  In the same movie, Red tells Andy that Hope is a dangerous thing and can drive a man crazy…in the end though he learns that hope is a good thing.

In this day and age of high unemployment rates, drug wars, bad politics and broken hearts, does hope have a place any more?  Yes, here and now is when it makes the most sense.  We have to have something that motivates us to keep going in the face of challenging times.  Even with all the motivational strategies out there, it all boils down to one thing: Hope.  The hope of a batter life, a better job, of falling in love or obtaining that dream.

The law of Attraction, The Secret, manifesting and even meditation, all lead to hope, and making our hopes turn into reality.  Maybe hope is actually The Secret – or rather not losing it.  And if we do lose hope, where do we find it again?  That is a question that can only be answered be each one of us.  I find hope when I look deep down inside myself…where I am too stubborn to say that life has got me down, even on the worst of days.  It is that place that is all mine; like my own personal cool underground spring.

Maybe that is Mona Lisa’s secret and why she has been smiling all these years.  She has found a way to never lose hope. And maybe that is why so many people have found her so beautiful throughout the ages.

How do you define hope? Is there a poem, phrase or prayer that helps you through tough times? What do you do when it feels like too much? How do you reach out to others—and let them reach out to you? Is there something specific that gives you comfort?

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10 thoughts on “What Gives us Hope?

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