935. Hope

Hope, The Promise of What Will Come

They say hope springs eternal, but does it? Naturally? With all the world is today how can you hold on to a vague pollyannish concept that is known as hope? These are dark times. We are in the middle of a pandemic. We are a country whose politics have gone dark, dreary, and polarizing, where truth is not that relevant and perceptions and nasty character assassinations of the “other,’ are the norm. And we can’t seem to find a way to understanding and open dialogue. Hope has been lost and has no place in this reality. Or does it?

Hope Sandoval and her Mazzy Stars

“We know that suffering leads to perseverance; perseverance to character; and character to hope. And hope does not disappoint us.” This may sound familiar, somewhere in Romans, New Testament. I think I’d be the last one to think anyone should subscribe to any prescribed set of beliefs. You got to find your own path, and whatever that path is, if you find truth and peace in it, that’s your path. Ain’t none of us should mess with that or try to convince you otherwise. Though I think organized religion isn’t the answer, I do continue to find a lot of wisdom in those words. It leads you to a path in dark times. We’ve got every reason in the world to be down and depressed right now, sinking into a spiral of needing to hide out from these times and what they mean and the effect they tend to have on the soul. But what good would be done with that? Where does that lead? Nowhere, that’s where. This is the recipe for perseverance. Take hard times spreading just like the flu as Run DMC would say and in it…stay the path, run right through those troubled waters, though it may not feel like it in the moment, it’s the path to perseverance. Like Dory the Fish, Just Keep Swimming. Soon that perseverance will dig deep inside you where you’ll discover a new resolve of character and from that character, that strength, you may have not known was deep in your soul, leads to hope. And from that hope you will not be disappointed. For every reason you can focus on to think your life is meaningless and just leads to despair, there are two or more reasons to find joy, to find gratitude, to be hopeful at least for the sunrise that continues to come. Hope.

Bruce Springsteen’s Answer to 9-11, The Rising

No matter how bad things seem, like anxiety and loneliness has it’s hold on you in a death grip, there is reason for hope. And that, you should never fail from believing in. Enough of this preaching, some stories. When we lived in Texas, I got to work on a resiliency project for deploying troops. There was research done in Israel for a system to eliminate PTSD or at least find a way, a culture… to lessen PTSD’s lasting effects. It was lead by a Colonel who was the lead medical officer for the state. I’ll leave names out of it. Deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq led young Americans to experiences we hadn’t collectively experienced since Viet Nam. It was a very worthwhile project and endeavor whose tenets had merit. Basically putting in place mental health supports and a culture of resiliency to collectively let folks know we were there for each other, were looking out for each other. Idealistic, yes. Feasible, I’m not so sure. The sad note is, that Colonel who lead that project, ending up dying from suicide. I think he just got to a place personally where he had lost hope. He had parents who had recently passed, or who were in failing health, parents he was very close to, which left him in a state where he must have felt hope was abandoned. That’s a tragedy but it just doubles down on the reason for that project, the resiliency of hope. Finding a way that in the darkest days and times, you still believe in the infallible persistence of hope.

Hope

We were all teenagers once. I can recall the first time in those years I felt something akin to depression. How do you handle that when you haven’t had this wealth of experience and years to draw from, when you haven’t been through tough times and have seen your way out of it? Sometimes when you are caught in that downward internal spiral, just knowing that you’ve been there before and the sea state has changed, has turned hurricane waves all around you into peaceful calm waters, leads you to persevere, to know that there’s always hope. We all hope for our children happiness, confidence, satisfaction in the experience and joys of life. But we also know, that’s not always the reality. How can you know and appreciate the ups without ever being down? Hope is what we have, cling to it like a life raft and know, through the people around you that love you, unconditionally, those storms will pass. This too shall pass. You always have hope. You always have hope!!

Strength

Who will light the fire
That I need to survive?
Who will be the life blood
Coursing through my veins?

Like a river flowing
That will never change.
I need someone
I can depend on.

Someone write me a letter,
I need to know that I’m still alive.
Someone give me a telephone call
I need to hear a human sound.
Someone open up a door
And let me out of this place.
I’ve been caged up for so long
I don’t know if I’m living or dying.

Won’t you, give me love.

Give me hope.

Give me Strength

Give me someone to live for.

I need it now.

— The Alarm, Strength

Hope. It springs eternal.

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