It is only hope. Just a tiny light in suffocating, closed spaces. Yet it revives forlorn hearts.
Hope isn’t optimism. It isn’t positive thinking either. I can say this with conviction for I have felt all three at different times. I am sure you have, too. These two — optimism and positive thinking — are baseless without the connivance of your mind. Logic and motivation add on the necessary ingredients, and lo, you feel optimistic or positive. Hope is something else. It sprouts from within the heart, grows and dissolves there. I suspect this is precisely why it is so lovable an emotion. So wholesome, that it can provide succor to wilting worlds forever and more. The fact that it is not usually based on logic makes its mystique so much more endearing, an average person holds on to it with dear life. It could take you anywhere.
A friend is struggling to retain sanity amongst chaos her circumstances have created for her. Her family, especially her mother — the one person any child, whatever the age, will want to go to in distress — has proven to be the single most problematic factor in her life. I watch with amazement her fierce loyalty to them, the incessant crushing of her feelings over and over again, and her indefatigable hope. She falls every day, hopes for a better understanding from them, gets up, brushes off the dust, and carries on. It makes my heart ache for her. But when I step back, I realise she is teaching me the kind of lesson that comes by unasked for in the course of our lives, and proves to be one of the most essential ones. With her simple heart, she reminds me that all there is to a being is dynamic activity, a will to carry on. Perhaps the crux to nurturing such a will is a hopeful heart. It works wonders, that’s certain.
Think of the time when nothing seemed adequate to help remove the mists of your mind. No path seemed appropriate, no step safe. It was terrifying, was it not? If I am being presumptuous, it’s probably because I’ve seen too many mists to miss the fact that the lack of vision can be disconcerting in the least. And definitely very frightening if you’re really interested in the outcome. This terror, then, how does it go? Does the mist clear on its own? What warms the heart, feeds the mind with health to invigorate the body enough to walk out of it? Hope. As as it survives, it succeeds. It revives forlorn hearts.
This power is precisely what attracts the hopeful to sometimes make the mistake of clinging on to misleading signs, and makes the skeptic take it as a cue to walk a different path.
Though false hope is disastrous, it is even more disastrous to incorrectly classify a hope as such. Mind applies logic. Heart appraises signs. Together, they abandon enthusiasm at the slightest hint of a failure. Result? Unexplored opportunities.
I have no example to give from my life where I can show you how I lost opportunities because I failed to see a tiny flicker of light somewhere. I have, however, plenty of experiences to cite in which I hoped, was stymied, but the light kept burning. And I kept walking, exploring. It might seem a waste of time, but it’s kept my heart beating stout and strong.
Many lives in this world plod along without the little orbs to delight them. Many see them as will-o’-the-wisps ready to guide them to graver quagmires. Still more allow hope to dwell in the realm of fantasy and delusion. And yet, a large number of people join hands with hope and walk with the confidence only the brave can.