Some time ago, a school acquaintance remarked that I was overly hopeful and optimistic. I pondered, is there such a thing as being too hopeful? In response, I told him that the world was too grim not to have hope. How else could I cope with all that’s happening?
Every day, we are bombarded with news of distressing events in our community, our country, and the world at large. Reports of suicides, rapes, corruption, insecurity, wars, poverty, and a myriad of other tragedies fill our screens. The conflicts between Israel and Gaza, Russia and Ukraine, Sudan, seem never-ending. There’s not a day that passes without horrible news.
In times like these, it appears impossible to be optimistic or to hope for a future. These problems existed before we were born and might persist even after we’re gone. It makes you wonder if there’s any hope left for the world, any hope for a brighter future.
Nevertheless, forcing ourselves to envision a better future, regardless of the situation, might be precisely what we need for our mental well-being. We can’t afford to lose hope, no matter how dire the circumstances.
But what does it mean to be hopeful?
In essence, having hope is having an expectation that something good will happen in the future or that something bad won’t happen, as defined by the American Psychological Association (APA). Hope can be perceived as an emotion, a motivational force, or a coping mechanism aiding in overcoming loss.
Being hopeful transforms us into optimists—individuals who anticipate positive outcomes, whether by chance or through perseverance and effort. Hope is the driving force behind our lives; without it, we might as well contribute to the alarming rates of suicides.
Hope is what keeps us alive.
However, hope isn’t passive; it isn’t mere wishful thinking. Hope doesn’t mean idly waiting and hoping for problems to vanish. Hope is the driving force that empowers us to make the best out of our situation, knowing that better things await us.
Being hopeful equates to being resilient. Hope is what enables us to rise every time we fall; it propels us to thrive and work towards the lives we desire. With hope, no matter how many times we stumble, our expectations drive us to keep rising until we achieve our goals.
Being hopeful means recognizing that bad things are inevitable but choosing to thrive despite the adversity. It’s how we stay alive. It’s about facing the challenges that weigh us down and choosing to focus on the belief that our future holds greatness.
For me, hope lies in God’s promises to provide me with a future and an expected end. God never reneges on His word. He didn’t promise a life free of troubles or tribulations. Yet, despite all that’s happening, I believe in a glorious future. This is my hope, my expectation; it’s what keeps me going—the truth that God has wonderful plans for me.
The situation in the world may never improve, but we mustn’t lose hope; we must always keep it alive within us.
So, my friends, what does hope mean to you?