letter h

My father tells his students that “hope is a four-letter word.” He means this in the sense that when hope replaces action, it’s useless. “Hoping” that your grades, your job, your relationships, or your skills will improve doesn’t accomplish much of anything.

On the other hand, hope is a necessary prerequisite for action. Why work hard to improve when the situation is hopeless? You can always use a different motivator in place of hope, but as people who work in dead-end jobs with only a paycheck to motivate them show, there’s a difference in quality.

If you believe that no child is incorrigible, then there’s hope.

If you believe that the state of the world reflects a distortion of the human spirit and not its essential nature, then there’s hope.

If you believe in … anything, at all. People. Nature. God. Change. Any brand of goodness, really, take your pick. If you believe that there is or can be a force for good, from whatever source, then there’s hope.

Just be sure to take the next step. Action, practice, movement, service: none of these are four letter words, so don’t hesitate to make them your own.

photo credit: chrisinplymouth via photopin cc