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Is Hope Important?

My favorite Bible verse, which has gotten me through a lot of difficult times:

I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

I believe that Hope is very important.

I believe that without some small flicker of hope for the future, it would be mighty hard to pull yourself out of those dark and miserable times of your life.

I could be wrong.  Maybe it’s not hope; maybe it’s just the knowledge that “this too shall pass”.  Maybe it can be purely intellectual and not emotional.  And there are a slew of other words, like fortitude and perseverance, strength, patience, will, resilience, and determination.  These attributes certainly help you through the tough times.  But without hope, why bother?  I need hope.  Hope is the reason I persevere.

Sometimes you can’t see the end, but hope tells you it’s there.  And as long as you have that hope to focus on…well, then you have something to focus on.  You are not completely lost within the void that surrounds you.  And no matter how long it takes, hope is there to guide you to where you need to go.

Here is what some other people said:

Is Hope Important?

Rhonda:  Depends on what you hope for.

Monica:  That’s the most important thing.  I mean, if you don’t have hope, you don’t have dreams.  If you don’t have hope, you have…the absolute…this is it.  I don’t want to think that this is it.
—Michelle:  You mean life?
Monica:  Well, anything.  I mean, some things are fine, being it – your steak cooked medium rare, you know, is fine being it.  But…  You have to have hope.
Beverly:  I think you definitely have to have hope to know where you’re going.  You know, where you want to go, to help get you where you want to be.  You hope that something turns out that way…
Monica:  You’ve also got to have hope to understand where you’re at.  Without having hope, I don’t think you get to where you’re at.  I think you settle in that mediocre, “this is all I’ve got”.  You’ve got to have hope to better yourself.

Nadia:  Yes.  Because if you don’t have hope, I feel like if you’re down, there’s nothing that will keep you going.  You’re just going to be depressed all the time.

Jim G.:  Not false hope.

Rebecca:  I think hope is important because if you don’t have something to hope for or work for or want, then you…hope is a motivator.  And also, if there’s nothing to hope for or dream for or want, then what’s there to look forward to in your day?

Tom:  Yes.  Hope is extremely important.  It’s the basis for a brighter tomorrow.  It’s a reason, you get up in the morning with hope.  If there was no hope, why get out of bed?  You know…hope is the motivator.  Hope is the inspiration.  Hope is not necessarily the driving force, but it’s certainly inspiration.  Yeah, hope is of primary importance.  When we give up hope, we give up on life.
—Michelle:  My boss said no, but she had just come from a meeting and she was thinking about work when she answered.  That’s the interesting thing, is where their mindset was in that moment…
Tom:  And that’s the thing, it’s a moment, it’s a snippet in time.  But regardless, hope is important.  Even to a business sense, you hope for a bright future, but you plan.  Can you substitute the word faith?  Well, I think it’s a little bit different, personally.  You could ask the same question of faith: is faith important?  Then what do you mean by that?  Is it faith that your car is going to get you there?  Is it faith in a higher power?  So everybody’s mind is going to go where they are at the moment.  Had you asked me when I was sitting there doing a business plan, having come out of a meeting, maybe that’s where my mind would have been.  …  You take that person that had their mind on business stuff, you give them a terminal illness where there is no hope, and that business means nothing.  You’ll find out how inconsequential, how incidental things like that happen to be.

Carine:  Yes.
—Michelle:  Why?
Lenny:  Without hope, people perish.
—Carine: That’s right, that’s what the scripture says.
Lenny:  That’s what keeps you going.  If you don’t have anything to hope, then you have no reason for living.
—Carine:  Yeah, I think people who don’t have hope get depressed.

Jacque:  Yeah, I think if you have no hope, you just can’t make it.  I think, without hope…  I think even the most pessimistic person, in order to survive, has to have some level of hope within him.  I just don’t think you can survive without some degree of hope.

Janet:  Hope is important, yes.

Terri:  Yes, hope is important.  It keeps us going many times when things are not going well.

Toni:  Sure, or else you’re just going through the motions.  There’s always hope.
—Beverly:  When one door closes, another door opens.
Jeff:  Hope is important, but you can’t just sit back and hope something’s going to happen.  You’ve got to work at it.

Queen:  No.  I’m referring to work now.  I mean, you can hope, but…
—Princess:  …you can hope all you want, but it ain’t gonna happen!

Queen:  Unless you do something to make the results better, I mean, hope…what is hope?  Mindset, it’s a mind over matter thing.
—Michelle:  What about you, do you have a different opinion?
Aimee:  I’m trying to think of an example…yeah, I think you need it.  It’s…it’s not the same as a goal, but…but it’s similar.  You know, you need to have those things, those aspirations.
—Michelle:  Something to look forward to?
Aimee:  Because if you have nothing, then you just kinda…if you have nothing to look forward to, then why get up every day?
—Queen:  Is that hope, or is that like a dream or…
Michelle:  Well, this is my next question…

What’s the difference between Hoping and Wishing?

Beverly:  Wishing, I think, is far-fetched and hope is something that you really believe in.  I think.
—Monica:  I think you wish…
Martha:  …upon a star.
—Monica:  …you wish for lesser; you hope for more.  You know what I’m saying?  Things that have true meaning to you.  Like, I wish I had a pedicure.
Martha:  I hope you get one.

Nadia:  Wishing is more like…I feel like it’s more like a want, wishing.  And hoping is more like a need.  So you usually use wish for things, and hoping is for…kind of to better yourself.

Christie:  My hope is in God and wishing is a mundane thing.

Jean:  I think the difference is if you hope for something, you’re working for it.  If you’re wishing, then you’re just saying it.  You’re putting work into your hopes, but your wish you don’t worry about.  For example, “I wish I won the lottery”.

Becca:  Maybe they’re the same… or maybe it’s just the degree.  Where, if you wish for something it’s a willy nilly kind of fantasy type thing, but if you’re hoping for something, you have time invested in it.  It’s a stronger feeling.  So maybe the answer for me would be the degree.

Carine:  Wishing seems to me like for small things, things that aren’t very important.  You know…I wish I could find a new couch.  But I hope that what the Doctor tells me in September is good news.  That’s kind of the broad end of the spectrum.
—Lenny:  Well…and I think it could be that a wish is what you want, and hope is outside of yourself.  i.e. a higher power.
Carine:  Basically our hope is in the Lord.  But our hope is also in seeing God work in our lives and other people’s lives.  And seeing real progress in a person’s life and seeing them grow.  And there is also, of course, the hope in heaven.  Which is a reality, so it’s, you know, more than hope.

Janet:  Hoping is for those who don’t believe it’s going to happen – wishing is for those who those who believe it could happen – believing is for those who have it in their minds and souls that it’s going to happen.

Terri:  I think hope is different from wishing because hope is deeper. When you wish you usually aren’t surprised when it doesn’t happen.  Hope comes from a deeper place within you.

Jeff:  Same thing.  With a little bit of work, you can make your hopes come true.  Wishing is just sitting back and…it’s another form of being envious.

Aimee:  I think a hope is more realistic, like it could happen.
—Queen:  I hope it happens, I hope it’s today, I wish…I don’t know…
Aimee:  I wish I could go to Hawaii…
—Queen:  I hope I get to go!
Michelle:  I thought the same thing, that hope is possible, but a wish…you almost already know…
—Aimee:  It’s not gonna happen.
Queen:  It’s far off.
—Aimee:  Yeah…

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Items of Interest:

There Will Be Ink by Diane Turner

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15 Comments Post a comment
  1. I think hope’s importance is difficult to argue against; its usefulness is a separate issue sometimes. There have been times when I have felt that being hopeful does more harm than good; in hoping, I’m only setting myself up for hurt, disappointment, etc. Maybe what’s best is to know which situations warrant hope and which warrant a realization of what’s likely to come. There is always a better day ahead, though!

    August 29, 2011
    • That’s a great point. I’ve got a question coming up soon about accepting life circumstances and I’m interested to see how that comes out in comparison, and if anyone brings hope back up again. I think you’re right and it’s important to have a good mental and emotional balance.

      As a few of us have been talking about being thankful, the idea of rose-colored glasses has come up a couple of times. I think it’s really important not to lose your ability to be thankful and hopeful. At the same time, it’s unrealistic to look at everything with rose-colored glasses. You can hope for the best, and even a miracle, but don’t just sit back and hope. Take action, take precautions, be responsible…

      Thanks for bringing that up!

      August 30, 2011
  2. 1) Hope is an essence in many (if not all) religions. 2) Hope is much deeper than a “I hope I ___” statement. 3) I appreciate your statement about the flicker.

    PS: Thanks for visiting my site!

    August 30, 2011
    • 1 – Yes, that’s an interesting point. Similarly, my dad brought up faith in his answer and felt that for some people, hope and faith are closely related, if not the same thing. My uncle (and a stranger I asked about hoping vs wishing) both went straight to their hope in God.

      2 – I completely agree, at least for myself. I think we say the word a lot, but when we really mean it (need it?), hope is a deeply felt emotion. I think the answers to hope vs wish show that other people agree with you, too.

      3 – Thank you. That little flicker has sometimes been the only thing that kept me going.

      And you’re welcome – I liked it! Thanks for the return visit!

      August 30, 2011
  3. vicki #

    Hope? I try not to think about hope, I rely more on faith. Faith to me is knowing that what ever happens is what was meant to be. If I hope for something to happen and it doesn’t I get disappointed. Let say I had a job interview coming up I would pray. Lord, be with me during this time and help guide me into doing my best. So then I know that if I get the job or not that I gave all that I could at that given time. I then know that HE has a better plan for me and that I just have to be patient.

    With that said. I have to admit that I do get down on myself and I do get upset but I blame that on my own doubt and not giving 100% into my faith (I blame it on the Devil, you have to have someone to blame).

    October 22, 2011
    • The more I think about it, the more I think that when I say hope, I am really referring to faith. At least in the terms that I spoke of in this Query. I was envisioning Hope on a grand scale, a hope that enables you to keep going, something that you can hold on to – a belief that the future will be better, or at least that “this too shall pass”. Maybe that is faith. Maybe they are the same thing. Ultimately, I am referring to a feeling that God’s Will will be done, and that his will is for my good. I suppose that is faith.

      And, I have to say that the more I travel down the road of my faith, the more I believe in the devil as an entity.

      October 25, 2011
  4. I want to piggyback on something thesinglecell mentioned above, that hope often has a hurt in it. When we open up our hearts to hope, we make ourselves vulnerable. Sometimes it ends in disappointment, but sometimes it ends in something beautiful, something we would have missed otherwise. It leads us on a journey we would not take otherwise because we are so afraid of getting hurt. And I think all of our desires and hope are there to lead us home.

    October 31, 2011
    • Thank you, that was a good comment.

      When I think of this Query now, I often think of a girl that thesinglecell mentioned when she wrote about the death of her friend’s brother. The brother’s ex-girlfriend was frequently on Facebook writing of her hope that he would recover. I felt tremendously sorry for her. But I believe we often know when to hope and when there is no hope. And I think that’s part of the reason that I feel so much for that girl, is because I think she knew. But she wanted this other outcome so desperately.

      Sometimes I have a desperation so complete…it consumes me like a fire, with the wish that something was or would be, or that something was not. But I don’t think that’s hope – at least not in my case. It’s a plea, or a wish. I think that to Hope requires some amount of belief that the hope will be fulfilled. I think that desperation is an indication that you don’t really believe the outcome will be good.

      Having said that, there wouldn’t be phrases like “her hopes were dashed” if it weren’t possible for hopes to end in disappointment. Having hope doesn’t mean that we’ll get what we hope for, it just means that we believe it’s possible. I agree with you that hoping can make us vulnerable, and also that that journey is so worth it. If we didn’t allow ourselves to hope, then what point would it be to keep going? I like the idea of our hopes and desires leading us home. As someone who believes in God, I truly agree.

      October 31, 2011
      • Like you, I think God is the ultimate home. And maybe hope is too big and too strong to be placed anywhere else. Maybe when it’s misplaced, it crushes people and things, and we call that disappointment. Just some Saturday morning thoughts.

        November 5, 2011
  5. Thank you for asking this question. I have recently learned just how important hope is – even just a flicker as you put it. Hope is what keeps you going through times of trouble, stife, and really just life in general. Thank you again for your question.

    November 17, 2011
    • Hi Harley. Thanks for reading it and commenting! I recently put an offer on a house and I had a hope within me of a kind that I hadn’t felt in a long time – the kind where you really, really hope something works out in your favor, because you really, really want it. Of course, I thought of this Query question and all of the discussion about Hope and what it means to us.

      I realized that what I was feeling was not the flicker or flame that is so important to our survival (at least I think so), the one that keeps you going. But it was a hope. I had associated that more with wishing, but it was definitely hope. That’s what I love about the Queries, is that you think you know what you think, but we change, or we don’t remember from time to time what we were really feeling. Asking and answering these questions has made me much more aware of my feelings and opinions and how malleable they are.

      I’m so glad that you stopped by and took a moment to talk to me. As you can see here, I love to talk! Please drop by again sometime.

      November 17, 2011

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