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Culture, Faith, Life

Hope

Hope is commonly defined as a feeling and expectation of a certain desire to manifest, but that is far too impersonal to be applied to everyday life, don’t you think? Hope is powerful, expansive, and personal. Hope is like waking up at eleven on a Sunday morning and stuffing your face full of warm, buttery toast. Hope is the first breath of spring air after a long, oppressive winter.

It can be dangerously easy to lose hope in the bleary shuffle of day-to-day life. We become so accustomed to our routines and chores that we lose sight of the future. After all, what is there to hope for if we see nothing but predictability ahead? There is always something to hope for -the warm weather, the future of the current generation, the release of one of our favorite movies. Even in the most bitter of circumstances, there will be the sunrise to hope for. Sometimes, that is all you need. The negative, nihilistic paradigm that life is ultimately droll and dull and that hope is foolish is a lie. You’re not like that, and neither is real life. Do not let mainstream culture dictate the lens in which you view the world.

For me, hope is something that goes hand in hand with faith. If hope is the anticipation, faith is the knowledge. We hope that the moon will be full again as it wanes, but we have faith that it will as it waxes. You must always have faith that your hopes will come true; without it, they will lose their power. Hope is for possibilities, for goals, and agencies that have yet to manifest. Faith is knowing that these will manifest, the conviction and certainty that it takes to achieve them. Hope is the starlight path to our capabilities, all of the things that our would-be selves know to be true. Faith is the light that takes us there.

Hope can be hard to come by in times like these. We hear about violence in our police forces, terrorist attacks all over the world, and racist rhetoric in our politics. How are we to hope in a world so dark? As I ponder this, I think again of the cycle of the moon, one of the most natural things in the world. Even the moon, the brightest object in the night sky, has a phase where it is completely in the dark. Once that phase passes, it is reborn again, growing and changing once more. If the moon itself can come back from the darkness, why can’t the world? I anticipate a revival very soon; the new moon does not last forever, and neither will the state of the society.

Do not be afraid to hope. Do not be afraid to have faith, because someday, you just might see it manifest. Poet Shel Silverstein puts it the most succinctly:
Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.

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