(Previously published on 4 September, 2015)
I remember going through a tough time a while back and hearing the word “HOPE” quite a few times from people, or just me talking to myself. We generally tend to use phrases like “just have hope,” or “I am hopeful,” or in substitute words “lets be positive,” which more or less implies the same thing.
It is often easy to keep going when everything is going fine. But what happens when everything isn’t? When there is a crisis? When things are not going the way you planned… and time seems to be running out on you? When you have been caught unawares by life, and you find yourself at a crossroad… When you feel you can’t keep up, and you feel so helpless. How do you keep going?
I realised that hope becomes “HOPE”in a crisis. It is what we need when we have nothing else.
But what exactly does hope mean? Why should we even have hope? I have presented some reasons below. Some I have experienced personally.
I have understood that Hope can mean different things to different people depending on the situation you find yourself in; and hope can be very beneficial. I hope these reminders encourage you whatever situation you are in now. “Hope-GIVER”or “Hope-NEEDER”(I know this isn’t really a word J)… it’s important we keep Hope alive.
- A reason to keep going:One mistake people make is to mix up “being hopeful” with “being optimistic”. To be honest, the two are not far apart, and are more or less synonyms of each other. But while optimism can sometimes border on unrealistic, Hope is that thing (I am not sure of what to call it) … that promise… that reason you have, to expect better soon. Hope, as I have seen defined (Wikipedia), is an optimistic (or positive) attitude or state of mind inspired by an expectation of positive outcomes related to one’s life. When you can see or imagine what your future can be, or how your situation can positively change, hope will give you some fresh air (some strength) to keep going, and to believe in, and work towards the “better” that you are waiting for.
- Light in darkness: Ever been through a dark tunnel? Or been in total darkness and can’t see anything? Not an exit? Yikes! I hate darkness. But Hope gives light in dark situations. It helps you to find your way in the darkness. It shows you the light at the end of the tunnel, such that even if you stumble as you walk through or get knocked down a few times in the darkness, the light will always remind you of which way to keep going.
- Gift of life:There is a saying that where there is life, there is hope. Indeed. This also works vice-versa. Hope will give life. If you’ve ever experienced tough moments, or experienced being depressed, you’ll suddenly come to appreciate what HOPE can do. Because when you feel hopeless or helpless, it can be dangerous. But HOPE will preserve life. It’ll tell you that your future is beautiful. It’ll remind you of the good that is still in the world… and where there is life, there is hope – hope that will grow.
- Passion:Hope will give you drive. It energises and can fuel what is already a worn out body. Hope will birth ideas you never even imagined. It will cause you to see opportunities and avenues you never expected. It will make you undefeatable.
- A seed of greatness:I realised that hope is like a tree. A tree never magically appears. It starts with a seed. Hope will plant in you the seed of “greatness”; an overcomer…. And that seed germinates and grows. I have realised that Hope grows and becomes a powerful positive force. Sometimes all it needs are rays of sunlight, portrayed by positive events happening along the way in your life, and some buckets of water, depicted by kind words, good will acts or voices of cheering, from those around you, to keep Hope growing.
For some, Hope is just there; automatically present. But for others, it can be a bit harder, and Hope becomes a seed you and I can plant in their lives, through kind words, a hug, philanthropy or other. It changes things.
So when you think of giving up or feel you can’t keep going, I beg you to remember this – Hopeis not an empty word. It is a life giver, a situation changer, and a destiny propeller. It may not happen over night, but hope will give strength for a better tomorrow. I hope you find a reason to stay hopeful.
**I will do my best to stay hopefull mindset**
Have you known what it means to feel hopeless, or known what it means to hope against all odds and like to share? Why not do so in the comments box below.
© Dr Vivian O. Ikem, 2015