The Fragile Strength of Hope


       Looking forward in your life, making plans for the future, or working and sacrificing to realize a dream takes a great deal of

courage. Why, because one has to hope and that is a terribly fragile concept. Hope causes us to take a step into the unknown holding

tightly to the desire for a good outcome. We are willing to face whatever pain lies ahead as long as our hopes can be realized in the

future. This, hope, can have enduring longevity due to its stubborn trans-generational characteristic. Hope is said to keep the “idea”

alive. What that idea is matters little except to the person or persons possessing it or offering it as a “truth”. Some put their hope in

their own abilities, intelligence, or talents certain they can secure their future thru hard work and diligence. While many others put their

hopes in another human being, which is a very dangerous endeavor because there are no knights in shining armor waiting to rescue

you and you shouldn’t expect there to be. Humans are increasingly and perfectly fallible; therefore, to put one’s hope in a person is to

set oneself up for disappointment and pain. That does not negate the need to hope and pray the person can work with you to achieve

a common goal. Yet the key to success is your active and vigorous participation in finding or creating the solution to your problem.

         Hope is a word thrown around in casual conversation by people from all walks of life. It may be uttered by a person hoping to get

the new upgraded phone gadget or another wondering if they should dare hope that they can find food for their children today. The

devout of any religion put their hope in a higher being, God, which provides something they hunger for with profound desperation. We

must find purpose and meaning for our lives and for our role on Earth. The stockbroker hopes his or her market predictions will

become reality so they can evolve into an invaluable commodity to all who have money to dabble or invest heavily. Millions of teens

hope they will get to meet, date, or even marry the current pop idol of the decade while others hope they are making the right decision

to give their child up for adoption or abort him or her.

       I  dreamed of “making it”, using the world’s definition, one day hoping that my hard work and perseverance would bring my hopes

to fruition but I am almost back to where I started when it comes to my socioeconomic standing. Unfortunately, I have felt the

reverberation of too many doors being slammed in my face. In fact, every good thing I have ever attempted in my life has soured.

Leaving behind an acrid taste of failure coupled with an overwhelming degree of injustices. Life is difficult for everyone in many

different ways even if it appears otherwise. We all carry scars that we have accumulated along the way and the baggage we drag

around with us filters our view of life and our relationships with others. Some have an abundance of resources to ride over, plow

through, or avoid most obstacles in their path but they must all be traversed in some manner at one time or another. These folks with

worldly wealth and/or fame will feel profound emptiness at some point because material gain means very little when your soul is empty

and all you have become is a commodity.

      We have choices and the one that is by far the most difficult is the one requiring the traveler to continue to hope. Nothing less than

a Herculean effort is needed to get back up and try again after the hundredth, thousandth, or even the millionth time of being knocked

off the path by hardships, sickness, or heartaches. We have a choice to get up each time we land in a ditch or we can passively allow

their foot falls to crush us. Oh, I know how incredibly appealing it is to permit that to happen and be done with the pain but I guarantee

you that no one’s purpose is to be trod upon by another. Alternatively, we can claw our way back up and try navigating over the next

chasm or climb the next mountain. If we choose, we can sit upon the precipice of that chasm or at the base of that next mountain and

weep in despair. I’ve done both many times and I am certain I will do so again. There does exist a time to mourn, to suffer the loss of a

dream, a person, our health even and that is okay as long as we do not stay stuck there in that misery. I’ve even contemplated

throwing myself into the gaping chasm of despair allowing the pain and heartache to consume my being so as not to feel again.

      Pain is a certainty. Everyone will have it and whether it is emotional, spiritual, physical, or psychological holds no relevance

whatsoever. You see, the playing field is leveled when it comes to this factor because no one can escape it regardless of wealth of

spirit, character, or resources. Some of us choose to bury ourselves in whatever numbing agent we fancy while others make it their life

mission to make the world pay for their pain. The only decision that really matters during these moments in life is what you do with it

and how you allow it to shape you, your present and your future. It is so attractive to let your heart harden and begin blocking

everyone and everything out when you are enduring the pain. We either dash the fragile strands of hope unto the rocks or we nurture

it by refusing to let go of it. Hope can be terribly fragile and yet we set it up against impossible odds expecting it to withstand the

onslaught of mankind’s cruelty, disdain and apathy. The biggest mistake we make in those moments is to hope for a positive change

but then do little or nothing to help facilitate it. Hope is not a passive idea. Indeed, hope must be fed in order for it to grow strong and

infectious. In a creation that is full of imperfect people, including yours truly, it is guaranteed we are going to make little and big

mistakes causing ourselves and others to stumble and fall. Yes, hope is a fragile strength when we do not feed it but make that move,

take that step, reach out to help another up out of despair and you will be amazed at how quickly hope will become impenetrable. Hope

is not a concept meant for trivialities, no, hope is meant to become your armor against the onslaughts that will come. The moment you

stop accepting the world’s definition of success, is the beginning of your understanding of the hidden strength of hope. Although, my

life has not turned out how I hoped it would I am exactly where I am meant to be and my hope today is to make a difference in

someone’s life so they can make a positive difference in another’s life and so on. Hope may be fragile but it holds innate power waiting

for fertile ground. Examine your life then define your hopes and dreams making certain that they are inclusive of others because your

goal may not be the one you are meant to reach; instead, put your energies into reaching the one you were always meant to have.

You will likely be surprised by the goal you eventually reach because it will have morphed into something more than you could have

imagined. However, you must be malleable, you must be open, and you must have the strength to accept that you will be knocked off

your path, repeatedly, but you have the resolve to get up every time and find another way. Hope is always there even if you have only

slender threads of it holding you together. There have been times in which I have felt myself grasping in desperation to the frayed

edges of hope but I never let go even though every atom in my body and mind told me it was folly to hold unto it but I did and now it

and my faith has grown stronger and deeper. Each time you choose not to stay down your armor of hope gets stronger. Make the

choice; get up because your purpose here has not yet been fulfilled.

 

Tina Blackledge

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