Saturday, May 14, 2011

Why Hope Matters

What is hope?

Hope is the optimistic expectation that things will change for the better.

That where there is ugliness, someday there will be beauty.

That where there is sickness, someday there will be health.

That where there is weakness, someday there will be strength.

That where there is poverty, someday there will be prosperity.

That where there is confusion, someday there will be clarity.

That where there is injustice, someday there will be justice.

That where there is cruelty, someday there will be kindness.

That where there is animosity, someday there will be forgiveness.

That where there is hatred, someday there will be love.

That where there is fear, someday there will be courage.

That where there is sadness, someday there will be happiness.

That where things are wrong, someday they will be made right.

Hope is the momentum that keeps us moving positively forward into the future.

Hope is intimately tied to inspiration and creativity, meaning and purpose.

Hope is life affirming. Hope is positive. Hope is a life saver. Hope is redemption.

Hope is a beacon of light pointing to a gloriously happy and prosperous future.

Hope is a yearning in your heart for something better, and the belief that something better will come.

Not someday distant, but someday soon.

"Hope in a Prison of Despair" by Evelyn de Morgan

What is the opposite of hope?

Without hope there lurks apathy and despair.

Hopelessness is the feeling of futility, that there is no possible solution to a problem, no chance of changing things for the better, that there is no escape and that all is lost. That your life has fallen into a deep hole. Where all you see is the bad, to the total exclusion of the good. The city is miserable. The housing is miserable. The jobs are miserable. The food is miserable. The weather is miserable. The scenery is miserable. The neighborhood is miserable. The people are miserable. The quality of your life is miserable.

To feel hopeless is to see no end to the misery, just more of the same and no way out.

Despair is a dead end. To live in despair is to die a painfully slow mental and emotional death. To be hopeless, is to give up your joy, and your passion for living. To allow the unfavorable circumstances of your life to obscure your vision and to overwhelm you into seeing no way out of the ugly darkness of despair.

How do you keep your hope alive?

The best way to nurture your optimism is to nurture your health: fitness, cleanliness, sobriety, and peace of mind.

Do everything within your power to stay healthy and mentally alert, to be of sober mind, relaxed heart, and clear conscience. To not break the law. To not descend into the abyss of drugs and alcohol and criminal associations. To keep your head clear and your mind sharp and your body fit and clean.

Cleanliness does wonders to promote a more positive frame of mind.

Keep your hair and finger nails clean, manicured and short, and your clothing laundered, even if you must wash it out by hand. It's easier to keep a shorter hair style clean, and having only minimal body hair inhibits the growth of bacteria and foul odors.

Dirty sickly bodies weaken the mind and dampers the spirit.

So you must do everything in your power to stay strong. To stay healthy, clean, well groomed, sober, and physically fit. This is not the only thing, but it is extremely beneficial.

Clean body, clean clothing, clean mind, plenty of exercise, and healthy food, free of all intoxicants: drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and sugary, salty, fatty toxic processed foods with minimal nutrition. Those things are the destroyers of health, and the destroyers of health are the destroyers of hope.

An interesting piece of trivia concerning hope:

Hope is one of the Seven Virtues of Catholicism. I'm not a Catholic or a Christian or even religious, but you can sign me up for these. I give these virtues my complete endorsement.

1. Prudence
2. Justice
3. Temperance (Restraint)
4. Courage (Fortitude)
5. Faith
6. Hope
7. Love (Charity)

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