Monday, December 24, 2012

Hope:The Spirit of Christmas

Hope's Importance
Paraphrasing George Bernard Shaw, the then Senator Bobby Kennedy best defined what hope is  He said, "Some men see things as they are and ask why.  I dream things that never were, and ask why not."

Hard as it is for most of us to imagine a world without hope, such a world does exist. It is that world of which  Senator Kennedy spoke. It is a world  where its inhabitants see their dire circumstances exactly as they are, but lack even the tiniest belief that they can change their desperation into something better. What a waste of human spirit!

Hope And Human Spirit
In the womb, the  zygote hopes to develop into a fetus. Later on, that same baby swims the birth canal in hopes of being held in its parents' arms. Its parents hope to see their healthy child grow to adulthood. Humans are hope personified. 

We  begin life with hope, and hope sustains us as we grow into who we  are meant to become. Then  somewhere along the way,  persuasive propaganda  suggests that wishes and dreams and hopes  are  foolishness. The pseudo-wise among us pontificate that when we hope, we remove ourselves from the real world.  Their real world is the  exact world  to which Kennedy alluded.

If hopes and dreams were permitted to develop to the extent that they ought to develop,  what kind of  real world  would we have?

Would cancer, diabetes  and other life threatening health issues have found their cures already?  Would education keep pace with  technology; removing every anxiety unemployment may possibly  induce? Would global warming be properly addressed to  our children's benefits? The list  of potential good available to us through hope remains endless.

The Alternative
 The second part of the  Kennedy quote offers a clear expression of how dutifully hope serves us.  When we ask "Why not?" as we tackle challenges, we ignite hope as a  loving helpmate to overcome such challenges.

Yet hope can prevail only if we walk away from the notion that we always must have an immediate answer to our every dilemma.  If at such times we  enliven our hope, we will also enliven our patience, our endurance, and our strength to handle the next difficult issue  we most certainly will face down the road.

Having no hope, we  simply become just another of the countless ones  who "see things as they are and ask why"--and then do nothing else  Seems to me that the so-called alternative of not hoping is not an option after all. At least not in the world where I  live.

Merry Christmas!

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