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The Gift of Hope

Hope helps us to say yes. To accept a bad situation

At the end of it all, hope is a gift.

It can be, that you gift it to someone you love or yourself. However, irrespective of your choice or person, it remains a gift that keeps paying forward.

In life though, we often short sell it in our quest to be counted as pragmatists and realists.

We mistake hope to be some form of misplaced idealism or unrealistic optimism. Hope is neither idealism nor optimism. On the contrary, hope reveres truth and references reality at every turning point.

When we “hope for the best” we already know what the worst can be. We are in no illusion of what the truth is. We accept that reality and then take a stand to try for another outcome.

Sometimes we use hope as a loose synonym to talk about unrealised wishes. Fact is, that wishing has very little to do with it. Those who fail exams do not just spend their time wishing they would pass. They put in time, effort and emotion in preparing for it. However, in an outcome driven world we get hung up on the results. So when the results call out failure, that becomes the barometer of societal measurement.

There is practicality in this line of thinking. After all we need to pass to get admissions, jobs, acceptance, a better future and so on. Words and emotions don’t pay the bills. So yes sincere effort is needed, but we also need to believe that the effort is going to pay off to be able to muster up the relevant levels of sincerity required.

This tiny little belief is hope. It’s firmly rooted in the acceptance of reality and yet it has the power to change it.

Another common mistake that we make about hope is that we make it linear. One act of hope measured against its subsequent result.

Hope is not linear. If anything, it is a choice. A choice which creates a habit that ultimately becomes muscle memory. It is this muscle memory that gets us the rewards of success; sometimes from seemingly unrelated facets of life on the surface of it. However, if we dig a little deeper and we can be surprised at the connections we can make looking backward.

To elucidate with an example; I may not become an astronaut just by hoping for it and watching YouTube videos. But the muscle memory of exercising hope has got me other rewards in various other facets of life where I least expected it. It was simple. I believed in a positive outcome in a few areas of my life and put some sincere effort in making them count. The effort paid off in a few places and failed in some other. But what I gained in return far outweighed what I lost.

Hope helps us to say yes. To accept a bad situation. To navigate the dark recesses of depression, insecurity and hate. That is where it lives most of the time since that’s where it’s needed the most. It does not see the world through rose tinted glasses. It is merely aware that the world has various colours and sometimes it is this awareness that helps us find a way.

To step into the light.

Killing hope does not make a situation more real. Neither does it make the person more realistic. Reality is embedded in our consciousness. When we kill hope, we kill the chances of healing because we give up trying. Trying — which requires that tiny flicker of hope to gift us the energy required to claim our love for life and find the resilience required to push forward.

An act which is often the difference between living and surviving.

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