KEEP HOPE ALIVE: Where There Is Hope, There Is Life


By Zile Singh

As a noun, Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.  As a verb it is to want something to happen.  Its synonyms are: aspiration, desire, wish, expectation, ambition, aim, goal, plan, design etc.   Hope stands for our faith also because; invariably people bring their faith into play to fulfill some of their hopes. According to some, “ Hope is an embrace of the unknown and the unknowable.”  However, hope is a positive attitude and a great healer.  In difficult times and situations, hope is the only tool which can bring us out of those difficulties.  On the other hand, ‘hopelessness’ is a negative attitude and detrimental to all activities of mankind.  The prosperity and success in all fields are dependent on a positive role of hope.  Without hope, it would be difficult for an individual to have the courage of overcoming difficulties. According to some, in today’s context, hope is akin to trust and a positive expectation.  By its very nature, hope lays emphasis on futurity and invisibility.

“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.  Let us move forward with strong and active faith.” – Franklin Roosevelt. In the above statement, Roosevelt’s faith is nothing but encouraging the masses to shun doubt and have a hope for a better future.   Any sort of doubt acts against hope.  Doubt and hope cannot go hand in hand.   Hope is universal and it crosses all human boundaries of age, gender, race, religion, political considerations, class or caste.  Everyone needs it.

To materialize our hope, we need a proper planning and hard work.  Without this, it will be ‘to hope against hope’.  Proper and suitable action in a right direction is a pre-requisite of hope.  A fool’s paradise is nothing but sitting idle, day-dreaming and doing nothing but at the same time harbouring high hopes.      It means that if you simply hope on something to happen, but do nothing to work towards it, then it is of no use.  To fulfill our hope we haveto take action.  The real result is achieved when a genuine hope and right action are combined.

“Where there is hope, there is life.  It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.”- Anne Frank.  The capacity to hope is an indispensable human quality.  Even in times of crisis when confidence and faith have been shaken, hope sustains us in our living and moving ahead.  A person with high hopes is motivated and  would work against all odds to make life better and achieve his goals.  Never give up and never lose your hope.  If you stumble, get up again.   What happened yesterday no longer matters. Today is another day.  So get back on track and move closer to your dreams and goals.

In Greek mythology, there is a story of Pandora’s Box.  Pandora (a female mythical character) was instructed not to open the Box gifted to her by Zeus.  She, however, could not resist and out of curiosity, when her husband Epimetheus  was away, opened the Box.  Out of the Box flew every kind of trouble that people had never known before: sickness, worries, crimes, hate, envy and other bad things.  Pandora was very sorry that why she opened the Box despite the instructions of her husband.  But the last thing to fly was not as bad as other things.  In fact, it was beautiful.  It was Hope, which Zeus sent to keep people going when all the nasty things got them down.

The biblical hope is never an escape from reality or from problems.  It does not leave us idle, drifting or just rocking.  It puts us in gear.   Hope is the antithesis of doubt.   Hope and faith relate to many desires.  In Buddhism, they primarily relate to our ability to transform suffering into happiness.    In Islam, “The path to paradise involves trials and tribulations.  But never lose hope.  It is just a test.  The true foundation of hope is the good that we do in this life and let us be hopeful about meeting our Lord with our worship of Him alone.”

Nature is the greatest symbol of hope.  We can find deeper meanings of hope hidden in nature.  Look at the seas, sky, rivers, mountains, forests and the earth.  Listen to the changing seasons and weathers.  The whole of nature is a basic source of hopefulness.  After every dark night, there is a beautiful dawn and every black cloud has a silver lining.   “The best remedy for those who are afraid, hopeless, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet and alone with the nature.  Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.” – Anne Frank.

Hope is to look forward towards progress in the future.  “We must accept finite disappointments, but never lose infinite hope”. – Martin Luther King Jr.

Mr. Zile Singh is much respected Link Columnist, writer and a Vipassana Meditator. He can be reached at zsnirwal@yahoo.ca .

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