Hope. I gave hope to a loved one a couple of years ago, it was in the form of a little sign/ornament that hangs up. It wasn’t just an ornament. It was a symbol for a secret promise. It had wishes, dreams, desires and love all wrapped up in those 4 letters. I don’t think he knew all of what it meant because well, I didn’t tell him. But I knew. It hung on his wall for a few seasons. I loved seeing the light reflect off of that hope. I don’t know where it is these days but that hope still stands in my heart. Strong and true.
Hope springs eternal they say. Perhaps that is naive. Perhaps wishful thinking but I believe in hope. For the world, for my community, my family, and myself. Deep down I know that this world is fundamentally good. I see that bad stuff happens all the time.The work that I do leads me to the food bank, the domestic violence shelter, and homeless youth drop in center on a regular basis. My eyes meet with those people who are in a different circumstance than me at the moment, but fundamentally we are the same. I see the caring and selfless acts of kindness that come from the hardworking staff and volunteers who believe in hope.
I have been on the receiving end of supportive services after a challenging run in my life. I could have lost hope. At times I thought I might. We all have situations that make us question if we will ever be happy, safe, or financially secure. But hope is the great knowing that everything is going to be alright. It’s the spark in the middle of our tummies that keeps us going. It’s the spark that friends, family and nonprofit service providers shared with me in my time of need. And now, it is my turn. It only takes one person doing something from their heart to create hope in someone’s eyes. When I got out to food stamps to pay for groceries and the cashier scowled at me, it’s the person behind me in line that smiled and said, “I’ve been there, you’ve got this.” It’s the friend who brought groceries to my door right when I needed them.
Several days a week I stand in front of crowds and tell stories of hope. I share my story, or of the inspiring Grandmother who cares for her disabled granddaughter is doing much better these days, or of the homeless family who lives in a warm home thanks to their self resilience. After my talks, people come up and thank me for sharing and ask how they can help. Why? Because deep down we all believe in hope. Some have to dust it off and other’s wear it as glimmering pendant lighting the way for others. Either way, it is in each of us. All you have to do is believe. And then, share a little hope with someone. How will you share hope today?