Hope is?

Jason P Stadtlander
Published on: September 2013
Hope is a singular word, almost as enigmatic as the word "love". It's almost impossible to truly define what hope is and how it can drastically affect someone's life. But it is a truth that binds us, a thread that connects us, and when shattered - a dust that chokes us. Hope restores our faith in those around us and in high powers, and for some, gives a reason to go on with life in the direst of circumstances.

I will be the first to admit that there have been times when everything truly seemed hopeless in my life. Sitting in the gutter, uncertain of what reason there was for living - I was utterly and completely without hope.

So, the question arises: what was it that got me back up again? What was it that allowed me to pick myself up from where I was in those darkest of times? I would like to say it was my faith, but that would be a lie. Until recently, I have never had much faith in God, or any other higher power. I would like to say it was my family, but in this particular time I had no family within 500 miles. I had two friends who, at the time, were kind enough to let me shower at their home while I tried to get my life going again.

No, although my views on this are changing, I do believe there must have been a splinter, a sliver of hope, somewhere buried inside me. The truth is, I had two choices. I could kill myself and end it all, or I could go on trying...and what would killing myself have accomplished? It would have shattered the life of my father, mother, brother and sister, despite the fact that they lived hundreds or thousands of miles away. That was a con-sequence I couldn't live with. So, no matter how little hope I had, I chose to remain alive and see where life took me.

Fortunately, it took me in the right directions.

So, where does hope come from? Perhaps it comes from the desire not to cause pain to those who matter - and that desire provides the nudge to keep going, making life better, through our own actions or inactions?

It's hard to tell.
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