Life isn’t a smooth road and we all face various obstacles at one time or the other. Pain, as a result of losses, heartbreaks, disappointments and illness, among others, is inevitable in life. However, amid all of life’s twists and turns, hope is one of the strongest driving forces that keeps us going despite being unaware of the final results, and also enables us to approach problems with a positive attitude.
Hope, one of the three theological virtues in Christian tradition next to faith and love, is the desire for some thing and expectation of receiving it. It is the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one’ s life.
It is a feeling of what one wants, what one can have or that things will turn out for the best. Hope has also been defined as a vital bond between the future and the present and a state of expectation that brings sense in to all that we are doing.
It is necessary to realise that hope is not a preserve of the naive. It doesn’ t mean taking up unrealistic challenges and ‘ hoping ’ for the best or ignoring the facts. Whatever challenges we face should inform and help us reflect and reframe our goals in order to reach a new way of living where we can again, hope for an improved future.
Hope is also not a passive process, but an active internal process requiring motivational energy. It is easy to under estimate or even forget the significance of hope until we are placed in a situation where we have to rely on it. Nonetheless, hope is a vital part of day-to-day living. It is closely related to positive coping, resilience, better pain tolerance, better quality of life, and a higher self -esteem. It is what makes us take chances, gets us through tough times and enables us to keep going. It is essentially what makes our lives grow. Interestingly, hope calls for reinforcement and is partially dependent on the presence of quality relationships and strong social networks. In addition, hope needs to be nurtured and kept alive. Hope is destroyed by negative thoughts, constant worry, unconscious behaviour and apathy.
Hope can be nurtured in a few simple ways. Avoid living in the past. Learn to focus on what you have in your life to be grateful for and also change the way you look at things, choosing not to be fixated on the negative.
Real life stories of those who have overcome various challenges, including those similar to the ones you may be facing at a particular moment, also go along way in inspiring hope. Most importantly, always turn to your Maker who is the eternal source of all hope .
Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.
Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese monk, writer, teacher, author, poet and peace activist
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955), German born American physicist and Nobel Prize for physics winner in 1921
We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 –1968), American clergyman, activist, and leader in the African-American civil rights movement
Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.
Emily Dickinson (1830 –1886), American poet
Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, egardless of how it turns out.
Vaclav Havel (1936 –2011), Czech playwright, last president of Czechoslovakia and first president of the Czech Republic
A strong mind always hopes, and has always cause to hope.
Thomas Carlyle, (1795 – 1881), Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher
At the end of the day, we must go forward with hope and not backward with fear and division.
Jesse Jackson, American civil rights activist and Baptist Minister
Hope to me means having a stubborn, seemingly unrealistic conviction that it gets better someday, even when all the odds are against you. Hope is strength in the mind, even with no clarity about anything, keeping focused on a goal. Hope is everywhere. We just have to be calm as it doesn’t work well with chaos.
Georgia Atieno, 28, Public Relations Consultant