I have always struggle with hope. It seems hollow.
Hope seems the place of last resort. When there is nothing more we can possibly do, we then just hope it works out. We hope things will change.
Hope takes on a passive role. By having hope, we place what happens into someone else’s hands. Hope is placed on a higher power to take care of things. Hope places the outcome in another’s hands of responsibility and ownership.
Hope is not a strategy. I have never met any leader or worked in any organization that had hope as their strategy. We may say “I hope this works!” But we don’t say “our strategy is to just continue work every day and hope we find our way to success.” If this is your strategy, then you may be working in an Eeyore-like organization.
Hope doesn’t clean things up. Life is real, messy. We seem to forget this fact. Maybe all those nice sounding clips are really happening to the people writing them. I hope so…. But that isn’t always true either. When someone’s situation seems so perfect, I begin to imagine what may be really going on beneath the surface. Life is rarely that good all the time. Life is real, messy, and hope seems to fade.
Anne Lamott is a wonderful writer with a real life, and she tells it all through her books on finding faith and spirituality. Her recent book, Stitches, is a relevant read and it tells us to gather with those who support us and just live as brightly as we can with whatever comes our way. This simple statement is unfair to her and her book, but here is a small part of one sentence that just really hit me: “…hope is a conversation.”
Hope is a conversation.
I like these four words. For me, it describes hope in such a clear way. A conversation enlivens hope. A conversation brings people together. A conversation enables empathy. A conversation regenerates our spirit. Through a conversation, hope may convert to a renewed faith in what is good and possible.
Hope is patience.
Hope may be a form of patience, too. We get eager. We want good things to happen as often and as quickly as possible. But life cannot always deliver that. Hope tells us to be patient.
I am unsure of what hope really is yet I also know we cannot live without it. Hope seems hollow often. Just when we are ready to give up on hope, we see beauty happen. The beauty can be a hug, a kind word, a knowing nod, acceptance, recovery. Hope can be many, many things in a real, messy world. And maybe that is what hope is about… undefined yet comforting and renewing. To grasp hope, it just may begin with a conversation.
What is hope for you?
Join the Conversation
Hope Is a Conversation
Jon, great post very refreshing read. To me hope is the foundation for innovation and creation. Not that innovators live by a hope and prayer but that in their core they are positive about what could be. Without hope there is complacency.
Great insights, Caroline. There is much hope in innovative and creative people. Hope helps create their art and innovations. Interesting thought, too, on hope and complacency. From this statement, it seems hope activates us to do something, which is a positive thing. Thanks for your thoughts! Jon
Jon, thoughtful post. Hope is a starting place for me that’s intentional. It lets me know that there’s always a way, as opposed to coming to a dead end. Having struggled with clinical depression earlier in life, when I felt hopeless, having hope is absolutely critical. Without hope, there is simply no room to dream, let alone plan or move forward. Living is pointless. As you wrote above, we cannot live without it. I can attest to that personally, speaking from experience.
Alice, Your story always resonates and I am very grateful you share it with others. Hope does give us room to dream. That is so critical in our lives. Thanks again for sharing these important insights and reasons for hope. Jon
Great stuff, Jon!
To me hope is more than a strategy. It drives all of my strategies. Hope is what makes me want to have a strategy. http://thestrandedstarfish.com/hope-is-more-than-a-strategy/
I like that, Joe, “Hope is what makes me want to have a strategy.” That is a solid point. Thanks! Jon
Jon, I always love your posts, but this one is by far my favourite. Its so very insightful. Sometimes we use the word hope ‘lightly’, as you mentioned, and other times we truly turn to hope to guide us through some of the most difficult times in life. The one insight that I carry with me all the time is that hope never gives up on us; so its up to us not to give up on hope. Thanks for your thoughtful reflections here 🙂
Very true, Audra. Hope doesn’t give up on us. At times, we may think it does but hope always seems to hang around. Your feedback and thoughts are very much appreciated. Thank so much! Jon