Hope that Works

"...hope, to provide what it can and should, needs to be tied to reality."

That's the line that prompted me to share Jeffrey Weiss' article in my last post. What can hope do?  What should hope do?  And why does it need to be tied to reality?

Hope is a particular feeling that arises in settings of uncertainty. Hope can help us only if it shapes our decisions and actions in healing ways--in ways that help us live with the uncertainty.

What can hope do?  It can provide...

  • a path to acceptance of unwanted news
  • a source of calm to counter fear and anxiety
  • a focus on available opportunities and joys
  • a way to give meaning to loss 

How does hope provide all that? By stirring virtues in us, such as courage, fortitude and patience. 

What should hope do? Our hope should help us make our life the best it can be under the circumstances. The only way hope can do that is if we understand our circumstances and are realistic about what we can--and cannot--affect in our world. We must know and respect our limits, without giving in or giving up too soon on what is possible. 

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