HOPE is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
Looking at the news and thinking about the current political and social climate I find myself fighting the urge to become cynical. What we perceive on a daily basis whether voluntary or involuntary can begin to create a perspective that humanity has fallen into an abyss of a self seeking and dishonest culture. This perspective can also have implications on our personal lives as well. There are times when what we perceive in our personal lives can make us feel hopeless and powerless to see change.
Hope is defined as the feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Conversely, hopelessness is defined as having no expectations of good or success. Both definitions have the word expectation in common. Once you lose your expectations you lose hope. If we look at individuals in history who have made significant cultural change we see people such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, or Mahatma Gandhi, who perceived the negativity of their situation and the situation of others. They did not stop with their perceptions. They moved forward with expectation of a better future. That is hope. Hope is not unrealistic. Hope acknowledges the problem but says there is a solution. Hope allows us to take control of our perspective and reject hopelessness. So maybe you are not feeling hopeless about society. Maybe you are feeling hopeless about your personal situation or circumstance. The same principle applies. Let’s look at 3 ways to find hope and reject hopelessness:
- Acknowledge the problem. Acknowledgement provides some level of control over your perspective. Acknowledging the “Elephant in the room.” Prevents avoidance and says I am going to have to deal with this issue.
- Develop a plan. Once you have acknowledged the problem now it’s time to develop a strategy to deal with the problem. It’s important to develop small measurable goals that can be achieved over time with patience. Remember the saying in reference to that elephant, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
- Be specific about what you expect. Hope requires an expectation. You should develop an uncompromised vision of what you expect for your future. Everything you do should lead you towards that vision.
Hope is a treasure to be protected from its adversary hopelessness. Hope says despite what I see, hear, and feel I know there is something better. Hope allows us to get through those rough times in life. Hope gives us what we need to encourage others. Hope is what keeps us moving forward.
Author – Alicia Lurry