This article can also be read at thelittleendian.com.
Hope is a good thing–maybe the best thing, and no good thing ever dies.–Stephen King (The Shawshank Redemption)
Just finished watching The Shawshank Redemption, for perhaps the 4th or 5th time. What struck me this time? Stephen King can really invent good and evil at the same time. More importantly however, what stayed with me was the quote about Hope.
It is true, hope is such a good thing. Just like love, it never dies either. Each one of us lives by at least one hope. Some of use hope to make a better living, many hope to travel to an exotic place some day, most of us hope things will improve from however they are (good or bad) and it would be safe to say that all of us (republicans, democrats and immigrants) hope to pay fewer taxes this year.
Hope is probably the life blood of healthy, progressive human psychology. When there is nothing else, there is always hope. But more that just being an inner voice, an implicit force, and a solid support, hope is a great tool, perhaps the most overlooked one.
Winston Churchill was perhaps the most consummate craftsman of this tool. His now famous and admirable broadcasts during the second world war not only gave hope to his countrymen and army but helped take that hope to another level, known as faith, and help a people persevere through some of the worst times in British history. Not having known the man personally, I would have to speculate a little. But he would have to have had an ocean of hope and positivity within him to source it to the entire nation like that. What a monument to positive thinking?
Hope does get a bad name, though. Not because it has any bad characteristics in and of itself. I think hope gets a bad name because of lazy people. Hope without action, is only a wish.
People express hope in different ways. Most people tell others they care, about their hopes. Prayer is a another way to express hope to an unknown being. For a few though, hopes transform into actions. Those who take up a hope and make it their mission, those who follow a series of actions, form a strategy and address the solution that lies within their hope, are names you and I and everyone gets to hear of.