“We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
It seems like everyone is talking about what a year this has been. And indeed it has been hard for many, myself included. While the mainstay of the year has been wonderful, it has been littered with spot hardships, deaths and stress. But all in all, it could have been worse, a lot worse. I have lost 3 family members this year, the most recent being this past Saturday. It makes this holiday season even more poignant and makes me ever aware of how fragile this life can be.
And buried in all of the whirlwind mess that has been this year, tucked away in the remnants of the rest of the days remaining in 2020, is Hope. Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen, or a feeling of trust. And I think all of us are looking up from our lives, to the horizon of what is coming, with hope in our hearts and souls.
“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’…” – Alfred Lord Tennyson
Indeed there is nothing stronger than the human heart, when it beats for the hope and love of another day. There is nothing more solvent than the stubborn ingenuity of the human spirit. And we all feel it. This year, and poking fun at all the strange, twisty, ridiculous things that have happened are now part of pop culture. From SNL to the news, to Social Media posts and funny videos, we all have had to laugh at how it has gone. I mean, who would have thought of Murder hornets? Or a Pandemic, during riot season? And masks? And being locked up in our houses? And spot cases of the Bubonic plague?? And strange seeds being randomly mailed out? And how many hurricanes did we have, or did we all lose count? God has a sense of humor – and seems to be a bit sarcastic to boot. Maybe He got tired of us silly kids complaining about how rough it is…so he decided to have a little fun and show us how crazy it could get.
But, now, it is Almost the next year. And with all of us shaking our heads wondering what the heck just happened? All year long, we are ready to collectively give 2020 the bird. And why is that? Well, besides the obvious, it is because we hope.
We are ready for the new year because we hope, deep down in our bones, that this next is far better than what we leave behind. At least we have all been in this together. We can all give ourselves a pat on the back for making it through, because not everyone did. We have been reminded of how short and delicate and temporary we are. And maybe that is a good thing. Maybe we need to be reminded of how good we have it every now and then. How many things did we take for granted, every day? Now we will be thankful. At least I hope so. Look, there is that word again – hope.
And this hope goes beyond the normal “I hope to loose 20 lbs.” This goes much deeper, where the light barely goes, where the soul meets the mind and speaks to the heart. Where we take half breaths in between our sobs, and rub our weary eyes, whimpering softly the prayers we cannot even speak. This hope is in the multitude of our longing, our wandering and our contemplation of what is unknown in the future. It is in the youth, the old, the middle aged and the in between. The hope is palpable. And in that it is beautiful.
Our humanity appears in our hope. As we, our human kind, hope for better in the next. We hope for easier, and more of the good. We reach and strive and cry out in our aching for the goodness in this life. If anyone can move the world even a centimeter off it’s axis, it is all of us, together, in this forward movement of all the hope pouring out of us, in us and around us. Through our hope and our humanity, we can make 2021 better.
Just think of it – millions of us hoping. I believe that our hope, in it’s God-given purity, can make this life, this next year, shine like a spectacular diamond. I believe that if our hope is strong enough, as strong as our prayers and our faith, we can move the world, change lives, and even impact the universe.
Life is short. And no matter what happens in this life, in this world and with all of us, one thing we can all know for sure – is that we all hope. We hope for ourselves, we hope for each other, we hope for the world. Because we all want to be happy, we all want our dreams, and we all hope all of our hard work pays off. So here is to telling 2020 to kiss it. And here is to 2021 being as spectacular as we all Hope it be to be.
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