Do you have hope? Hope for a personally fulfilling or different future, maybe, or that friends and family will enjoy healthy and happy lives? Perhaps the intention is broader still, a hope that kindness and understanding take root across the world and bring equality and justice to all its citizens.
It’s not always easy to carry such desires, especially when life gets tough. Obstacles can’t always be shifted, after all, no matter how much effort is exerted or pressure placed upon them, and moments of sadness or despair are as much a part of life for the hopeful as they are for those where its presence can be capricious or non-existent.
Hope is complicated and it is sometimes misplaced. But it can also be motivating, bringing a belief that ambitions can be achieved, inequalities addressed and lives made more meaningful. And in this way it can drive change both for the individual and society. A volunteer who gives his time and dedication to conservation projects, a grieving mother who grants permission for her son’s organs to give others a better chance of life, a social campaigner who strives to get more more representative literature on school bookshelves.
Even those who are generally confident of a positive outcome will, however, have times where hope fades. It’s not a static, unchanging feature – it’s prone to the whims of others, it’s dependent on circumstances and it’s forever at the mercy of what life decides to send along. When those times come and hope is scarce, try to recall previous adversities that were overcome, conflicts that were resolved, goals that were met in the face of stiff opposition.
Falling in and out of hope is human, and how and when it’s used is a personal decision. But regardless of whether its definition is narrow or broad, it need not be a solo path, and if it’s disappearing out of view and you’d like it back, reach out – you’re not alone.