Hope – A Building Block Of A Quality Life

Nothing in life is more important than hope. Without it, we amount to cialis 5mg little, even if we possess all the riches the earth can provide. With it, we thrive under the burden of the gravest hardships. Hope is woven into the fabric of family, friendship, home, and profession. When present, it liberates our minds, inspires our hearts, and fills us with health. When absent, the yield is anxiety, depression, and suicide.

A person who loses everything in a fire, flood, or stock-market crash can eventually recover, but only with hope. Moses was able to lead his people to the Promised Land because he projected hope. The slaves of the United States and Brazil composed songs that gave them hope, and they endured.

The great leaders of history made the best decisions they could under the circumstances, but their true talent was in their masterful communications of hope. Winston Churchill skillfully delivered hope to the English people at their darkest hour during World War II. At the same time, President Roosevelt transmitted hope to Americans, as is exemplified in his famous speech that included the line, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

While the importance of hope in our lives is clear, the method for attaining it is not. If a lack of hope is connected to something manifest, like the loss of a job, then the remedy (getting a job) may be apparent, but often such ready solutions are not available. Even so, we can do a lot to promote hope in our lives. The maintenance of a just society is intertwined with the furtherance of hope. In order to be happy, people must feel that they have a fair shot at developing themselves to the highest levels of which they are capable. This does not mean a guaranteed result, but rather a promised opportunity to step onto the field and play the game.

No one can provide hope to anyone else. It must come from within. Society can create an atmosphere within which hope can grow, but hope itself stems from the interior of each individual. Sometimes identifying hope as distinct from the will to fight, struggle, or survive is difficult. These desires certainly reflect hope, but hope encompasses much more and ranks among the sainted qualities that separate us from our closest relatives in the animal kingdom. A chimpanzee has a will to live but no ability to hope. A human being, on the other hand, has little reason to live at all without it.

I would like to say that my own hope comes from loving relationships with family and friends, but claiming so would be disingenuous. My humanity is linked to wonderful people, but the hope that is the engine of my existence, that moves me from this place to that, that compels me to venture forth each morning, is something else, and it seems to have two components.

The first is a transitory belief that life contains more than what is apparent on its surface, that although none of us knows why we exist, behind it all, an answer steadfastly awaits discovery. I use the word transitory because I cannot seem to keep the reason in view. The notion that a response exists to the question “Why?” floats in and out of my consciousness, and sometimes I am able to articulate it badly, and at other times I am unable to express it at all.

The second part of my hope comes from art, because artists seem able to catch glimpses of the reason behind our existence and hint at it through their respective mediums. Artists are seers who peer through the mist at the border between this world and eternity and ascertain not necessarily the substance of the answer, but at least that an answer exists.

So my hope resides in the fleeting insights of artists, who may from time to time present us with encouraging clues. I doubt that they can provide us with light, but they might be able to indicate a direction in which to walk so that we find a lighted path.

Then, of course, the question arises regarding the origin of these artists in whom I trust to deliver such all-important messages. Since hope inheres in each of us, perhaps only the artist in each of us can make such connections. The existence of my hope, then, in the end, depends on me, and that is a frightening prospect indeed.


The Six Pillars Of Happiness

3 comments… add one

  • mpkipper October 8, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Oi! Douglas,
    Hoje li teu artigo sobre “esperança”, no teu blog. Não concordo com tudo, porém te congratulo pela profundeza do mesmo. Acredito que esperança é parte do mecanismo humano. Porém, não o vejo como óbvio numa peça de arte e nem nos líderes de movimentos. Acho que esperança se entrelaça às vezes com fé, como inveja com ciúme. Eles tem componentes comuns que se deixam entrelaçar. Uma coisa acredito, esperança é um sentimento que tem seus lados positivos e negativos. Às vezes, quando persistimos em algo, movidos só por esperança, perdemos muito com isso. Perdemos energia e tempo, sem ganharmos nada. Acho que a coisa mais importante na vida é sabedoria, e mais ainda, a qualidade de agirmos sempre com sabedoria. Bem, vou ficar por aqui. Continua com teu nobre trabalho, em tempo colherás bons frutos. Que Deus te abençoe.

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  • Andrea October 11, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Don’t worry, artists are just like the rest of us, they don’t know what’s going on either. My hope is that one day we will realize that no explanation is needed, but that our moment is complete and glorious as it is. (Maybe I’ve read too much “the power of now”?)

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  • Ann March 12, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Just today I was talking about happiness and hope coming from within. We try to give to each other. I think we help with hope and happiness, just can’t complete it. We are existing in an in-beween. At some point I heard a quote that sits in my brain, “We are between eternities”. My belief in Christ gets me closer to completeness. Yes, I agree that in art we see glimpses, but not the whole picture. My guess is that we are all growing toward our completeness. Andrea, I like your statement that our moment will be complete and glorious in His Grace!

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