The Importance of Hope

By Christiana Casey

Hope is not merely wishful thinking; it is much more than that. Hope is knowing and strongly believing that though one is in a desperate situation, things will improve. This faith and optimism has helped individuals gather enough courage to get through the day throughout history. In fact, hope was personified in Greek mythology as Elpis, and when Pandora opened Pandora’s box, she let out all the evils except one: hope.

The ancient Greeks considered hope to be as dangerous as all the world’s evils, but without hope to accompany all their troubles, humanity was filled with despair. It was a great relief when Pandora revisited her box and let out hope as well. In today’s world, however, hope remains strong on the list of human needs. It is like a single candle in a dark hallway, it gives off just enough light to continue on and find the way out of the darkness. This light of hope burns so strongly in the hearts of some, that it is all they need to keep on living. Hope is not resignation; it is motivation and the foundation to build one’s life upon.

 As Oscar Romero once said, “Hope is not resignation; it is a commitment to continue to struggle.” Therefore, hope creates endurance and strength in a person. Otherwise he or she is simply sitting back and wishing away his or her life. This is not the way to live! One must take action and decide what will become of their life. Take, for example, Chuck Noland in the film Cast Away . Chuck is stranded on a deserted island for many years after having survived a terrible plane crash. He could give up, but he goes on living by hunting his own food, finding shelter, and eventually, building a raft to escape. Luckily for him, he is saved and can once again find safety in his own home.

Like Chuck Noland, many others rely on hope in order to continue their lives. For example, the great Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving. You lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today, I still have a dream.” Those truly inspirational words are essential in a time when it is hard to keep one going. In addition, Martin Luther King Jr. also stated, “We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.” This is an amazingly powerful statement. In life there will be many failures, but without hope, there will never be a single achievement. Therefore, hope is a necessary component of every day life.

Hope is always the foundation to build one’s life upon. If one has hope, he or she can go on in times of trouble, can be motivated to do the best possible, and can overcome the pain that surrounds him or her. It is like that little saying goes, “Never say never.” One should never give up and never think that a goal or aspiration that he or she has is impossible or too hard to attain. If everyone thought that the goals that they had set in life were too difficult, there wouldn’t be any of the great inventions today, and this world would be a much different place. Hence, hope will always be the “road map” to life. It will be one’s guide on his or her path to happiness.

All in all, without hope, humanity would have a complete lack of motivation and would cease to exist. Therefore, one should base his or her life around the concept of hope. Hope is never giving up; it is moving on with one’s life. After all, as the Arabian proverb says, “He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything.”

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