Bright Ideas: Hope is a Resource
I recently read an article in USA Today (Dastagir; 2020) titled, “Why it’s so important to hope.” I remember reading the title and glancing down at my coffee mug. I watched the steam drift up and fade away and sadly thought, “there goes hope for 2020…” I took a deep breath and continued reading, hoping to be transported out of my “Eeyore mentality” for the day. I’ve related to that sad Winnie the Pooh character more times than I’d like to admit this year.
The article references a study conducted in 2013 in which 100,000 people from 100 countries were asked about their perspectives for the future. Regardless of socioeconomic status, personal obstacles or potential challenges, people often “believed the future can be as good as or better than the present.” That’s pretty astonishing. Hope is a resource. In the same way we rely on oil and gas to keep things running, hope keeps us moving.
This year we have battled (and are still battling) a worldwide health pandemic, stared inequality in the eyes, survived hurricanes and braced ourselves for the outcome of a tumultuous election. We’ve experienced guttural fear, breathless anxiety and, at times, agonizing sadness. And through all of that, through all of the suffering and unknown, a glimmer of hope dances in the distance. I see that light often in our children’s faces. As much as I am fearful for their futures, I am hopeful for their growth, strength and resilience.
When we hold onto hope, it often triggers resilience in all of us. Hope fuels motivation towards personal goals. Hope keeps us sane. Hope provides peace. When I feel hope dwindling, I often think of the many obstacles I have seen tiny souls overcome. I think of the child who struggled with language having his first conversation with Mom at the dinner table. I think of the child who made their first true friend after months of wanting to play, but not knowing how. I think of the child who climbed his first set of stairs with his entire class cheering at the top. That must have felt like climbing Mount Everest. These children had hope. These children persevered. And so must we.
Dastagir, A. E. (2020). ‘Why it’s so important to hope.’ USA Today, 10 October. Available at: