Hope is the greatest motivator and the greatest gift. But what happens when we lose it? When tragedy comes calling, and we feel overwhelmed, our courage to face life can disappear. There are the little tragedies where we have lost hope for the moment. And there are the big tragedies where we have lost hope period. How do we keep going?
By somebody else’s hopeful story. Somebody else’s recovery. Somebody else’s survival documented. Somebody else’ s dream being lived out, for real. Somebody else who has been there, or is going there, and will take our hand and point the way. That is what can keep us going when we feel we have nothing left to hope for. Another’s experience and courage can give us strength when we feel that we have none left.
When we start to believe in someone else’s dreams, in someone else’s visions for what can be and for what our lives can be, our own dreams start to return. When we hear or read stories of someone(s) who has been through what we are going through and has made it to the other side, we recognize that we can survive this. We can come through too. There are living examples to point to, and these thriving examples can help pull us back on our feet. If they could do it, if they could believe it, then maybe we can too. And the miracle is that little by little we build back our faith. Faith in ourselves. Faith in humanity. Faith in a higher power. Faith in our future. The kindness and courage of others and their stories can pull you through when your own words are too painful to speak.
The greatest testament to hope? Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech.” His words inspire and uplift us while also acknowledging how hard life is. We can relate to what he says because it focuses on the unrealized dream of equality. The speech begins, “I say to you today, my friends, though, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.” Google it. Read it or watch it for inspiration.
Dreams are hopes unrealized. Draw from other’s experiences and other’s courage, from other’s words and other’s hope, to give you back yours. It’s possible.