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Hope is a desire for change combined with a certain expectancy. It is often considered to be a dreamy quality - a little naive and unrealistic. Yet, hope has given comfort to many people in despair.


At the heart of hope lies the possibility of improvement, the belief in change. Is it so naive to be hopeful? To be optimistic?  Things do change in the world.

Wishful thinking

Playing the lottery is a 'hopeful' activity. Yet, the activity contains an expectation of outside intervention.
When you make somebody else responsible for your wellbeing and happiness, you give them authority over you and you adopt the passive role of a child.
Hope is not a passive activity; it is not merely wishful thinking. If we sit and wait for somebody else to change things, we can fall into an idle apathy, an indifference to living.

Tangible steps

If you want something, it may be necessary to take steps towards your goal.
Life may well deny us what we desire, but the journey itself is usually worthwhile and always contains many useful lessons - if we are receptive to them.
Remember that what you wish for now may not be what you want later, and that the dreams of a young person may be seen as folly in hindsight.


Within hope exists the need for patience and faith. It is so easy to lose heart, to feel that things may never improve and circumstances will not change.
If doubt overwhelms you, depression will follow and your negativity can lead to further hardship.

Be strong

You must endure. Hope is that seed of potential carried within your dreams - but you must be strong and vigilant - for the moment of opportunity may be fleeting.
It will be lost if you are not brave and receptive


Things change in the world. Public perception slowly alters over time and what was acceptable in the past is considered disagreeable now.
Science discovers new possibilities and renders some dreams reality. The world is awash with change, much of it too subtle to be noticed - but occurring nonetheless.


Treat someone well. Really help them out. Make them have hope again. But do not stick around for thanks. Leave the person wondering why you did it but grateful that you did. Smile and walk away.


Without hope, humanity is lost. We have done so much harm to the world and one another, and so many people suffer each day. Hope is the motivation that causes a people to act in service of another.
Maybe we can improve things, perhaps all is not lost, there might be enough time left? The smallest action can have unexpected consequences.

Real stuff

Hope should not be squandered on trivialities: football scores and soap opera plots do not affect the lives of other people. Pinning your hopes on fantasy, conflict and greed will only cause you harm.
If you have some hope, inspire those in need, those who doubt, those who struggle.

This is a true story. It is a story about a thirteen year old boy who lived in the wealthy suburbs outside of Philadelphia. His name is Trevor Ferrell. One night he was watching the news in television and he saw homeless people on the streets in the downtown area of Philadelphia. He went to his father and said, “We have some blankets in the garage. I want to take those blankets downtown and give them to people. They’re sleeping on the grates where the steam comes out.”

His father thought it was a strange idea, but he took him down there, and it was very rewarding to Trevor and his father. The next day Trevor started putting signs up in the grocery store and other places: “Does anybody have blankets they don’t use? Is there any food you don’t need?” Within a week he had a warehouse full of food, and now in Philadelphia there are a number of warehouses that are called Trevor’s Place that feed the homeless.

(Mark Greenberg)

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Page created 21 May 2005
Last updated 04 May 2023