Giving Up Hope

A misty morning does not mean a cloudy day

Are dark clouds looming over your life? If so, it doesnt necessarily follow that a storm is approaching. However, even if today were to be your darkest day, the tempest will pass if you wait it out. Thats why you must keep the flame of hope burning in your heart. Storms may rage, but dont let them extinguish hope.

What is hope? It is the opposite of despair. It is the ability to go on even when things appear hopeless. It is the knowledge that, however difficult the situation, this too will pass. Hope is both the earliest and the most indispensable virtue inherent in the state of being alive; writes Erik H. Erikson, If life is to be sustained hope must remain, even where confidence is wounded, trust impaired.

Hope is a quiet optimism, a feeling that things will work out, perhaps not as desired, but for the best. Hope is the strength to be patient and persist in difficult times. When faced with a challenge, dont hope it becomes easier, hope you become stronger. Remember, no one grows old by living a number of years; they grow old by abandoning hope.

While in his fifties, Tom had a heart attack. He looked death in the face for the first time and found the experience depressing. He grew lethargic and life came to a halt. It was almost as if he were already dead. But with a little encouragement, he rekindled the flame of hope, hope for a better life, for a return to normal. So, re-energized, he stopped smoking, changed his eating habits, and exercised regularly. Today, Tom is once again enjoying life.

Doesnt this simple example prove that hope is always a better choice than despair? Charles Sawyer thinks so, for he wrote, Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so indispensable, none so powerful, as hope. Without hope men are only half alive. With hope they dream and think and work. John Johnson also makes a powerful comment: Men and women are limited not by the place of their birth, not by the color of their skin, but by the size of their hope.

John F. Kennedy

In August 1943, torpedo boat PT-109 was rammed and cut in half by a Japanese destroyer during a night attack in the Solomon Islands. The commander of the boat, John F. Kennedy, was thrown to the deck. His back, previously injured in a university football game, was re-injured. Despite this, he gathered the ten surviving members of his crew. After placing a badly injured crew me