Hope eases our hassles and pressures. It motivates us to surmount troubles or worries. It moderates the stressful luggage, or negative emotions, that we carry day in and day out. Hope also expands beyond our everyday circumstance. It holds the looking glass, like Alice in Wonderland, to the future. It empowers us to recognise the looming with vibrant positivity, especially in the midst of the chaos that our present world is — because, it is optimism that keeps us going with a “come what may” axiom.
Hope symbolises a resolve, belief, or conviction. It propels us to believe in our dreams, vision, goals and ourselves. It mirrors persistence in the wake of obstacles. It powers self-belief and goads us to keep working on it — without giving up at the thought of a bumpy road ahead.
Most of us have our preferred metaphor for hope. This may emerge with a daily underpinning. Or, we may simply express that “there’s hope in the air,” while waking up to a new dawn with positive affirmations. That we have the ability to clear hurdles with aptitude and determination, or climb up the ladder of success and fulfilment, while meeting challenges, is passé. Yet, the fact is — it takes regular work and practice to finish things to “bag” rewards in propinquity to the future. This may correspond to instant, or leisurely, happiness and satisfaction — where a good thing emerges like a gentle zephyr caressing our face, while one ought to wait for the good, ripe apple to fall into one’s hands, as it were.
Hope also has another dimension — long-term hope. This is life nurturing. It helps and supports us to comprehend that, apart from adversities, life always offers us meaning and purpose at every step of our voyage. This form of hope binds itself to our “mindful” soul. It prepares us with a pulsating feeling that it is only “us” that has the natural ability and power to effect change over a period of time — not in a jiffy. This is a tree of slow growth with its roots going deep and strong. In like manner, long-term hope gives us the resolve to work hard and realise goals — one at a time. As Thucydides put it so exquisitely, “Hope is an expensive commodity. It makes better sense to be prepared.”
Hope is not limited to a possibility synthesis. There is a catch-22 in its overall fusion too. You may call it false hope. It highlights why we sometimes hold on to expectations as something that is going to happen — and, deny them when they don’t. Yet, when a strange twist of powerful, extraordinary hope comes true, it helps us to transcend every shade, tone, context or simile of pessimistic despair.
The writer is a wellness physician, independent researcher and author