There is good reason to Hope and expect 2021 will be a better year than 2020.
Two major events – the arrival of COVID vaccines and in spite of many ongoing problems in the U.S. – the defeat of Donald Trump and election of Biden and Harris should go a long way to making 2021 into a good year!!!
HOPE is defined by the OXFORD dictionary as a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen. WE all know how down we can feel if there is no HOPE. The Thesaurus lists 23 words as opposites of HOPE. They include despair, hopelessness, fear, doubt, distrust, pessimism, dread, and discouragement.
Sometimes it is good to give up hope and change direction i.e.
turning around in a snowstorm. However, loss
of hope in its extreme can lead to giving up on life, sometimes leading to
HOPE can present itself in many forms. Here are some examples: James Bartleman, Ontario’s first Indigenous LT Governor, implemented some fabulous literacy programs for Indigenous youth in some northern Ontario fly-in communities. One of these young people, for various reasons had no books and could not read. Books and reading have opened up his life.
These programs have helped to provide opportunities and HOPE to 1000s of Indigenous youth. Other programs such as the Dolly Parton Imagination Libraries have done the same thing, as have programs sponsored by Frontier College and H.I.P (Honouring Indigenous Peoples.)
You may take your child
to a doctor as you hope your doctor will make your child better. By
eating and exercising properly you may hope you will live a healthy life.
Listening to, talking and encouraging a discouraged child can often lift them out of their doldrums and give them HOPE. By showing a child you care, that you believe in them and that they have special talents can give a child hope (see my Sept. 2019 blog about Mr. Rogers, “I like you just the way you are.”)
A few years ago, I heard Rosemary (not her real name), a young Indigenous woman from a fly-in community in North-Western Canada, speak. She said because a community worker believed in and encouraged her, it inspired her and gave her HOPE. As a result, she gave up drugs, became the first in her family to go to University and has since gone on to do an MBA at one of the United State’s most prestigious schools.
Making hope become reality can come about in many ways. In most cases it requires action: often your own, though many religious people believe a prayer and divine intervention can make your HOPE come true. Have you ever heard someone say, “My prayer has been answered?”I heard a woman several nights ago say she does not need to wear a mask because, “God is looking after her.”
Often it is the convergence of actions and events that make your HOPE become reality. The COVID vaccine came about because of the hard and creative work of many people. So did the defeat of Donald Trump.
Your hopes too can happen by chance. For example, you HOPE you will find a loving and caring partner. By chance you meet someone on the subway who eventually becomes your partner (What would have happened had you taken the next train?…) Or maybe you hope to become a lawyer. While the opportunities exist for most people, at least in Canada, to make this come true, you will need to study and work hard to make it happen.
What do you do if you lose hope? I am an optimist; however, I try to be realistic. Possibly you need to reframe things, find out more about the situation, do things differently, read an inspiring story, but above all else, persevere. Even if it has not met your expectations, look at the positive side of what has happened. A case in point: look at all of the good things that have happened because of COVID.
Your HOPES could also be unrealistic. “I hope to become an Olympic swimmer.” By age 14 you will likely know if you have the talent and drive to make it. It may be time to reassess your hopes and move on.
One thing we can all do is give others hope. In fact, giving others HOPE can be an everyday event (Be careful it is not false hope). It can sometimes be done by listening, encouraging, complimenting, telling stories, showing you care, demonstrating your values, taking action, volunteering or giving money towards providing opportunities and hope for others.
Regardless of how HOPE comes about, we are fortunate to live in a country that is filled with both HOPE and the ability to provide HOPE and THAT IS GOOD NEWS for both you and the recipient.