I love the innocence, purity, and even naïveté of hope. Its existence isn't dependent on proof. It won't demand an unassailable rationale in order to spring into being. And while some may call this its weakness, deep down we know that this is its source of power.
We can all have hope at any time. And it can be whatever we want it to be. It can be as big and breathtaking and audacious as we dare. And when we have it, it is all ours. It can't be taken away. Only we can let it go. Even then, we can reclaim it at any time. Dust it off and polish it up to return the glow of its promise.
Purpose and the power of hope
One of my favorite quotes is from The Shawshank Redemption - a pretty moving examination of the power of hope:
“Remember that hope is a good thing, Red, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
I've thought a lot about purpose. And written a fair amount about it. If I had to give up all insights I've formed over the years except for one, I know which one I would hold on to. It's this. Purpose gives us hope.
For all team members, hope is a powerful motivator. In the face of the most difficult challenges, it is the hope that springs from purpose that helps us push through. It's the belief that our good and honorable effort will lead us to a better place. It inspires all of us to not only give our time to an effort, but our hearts as well.
For all those we hope to serve, hope is an irresistible force. It helps us imagine a future inhabited by the best of us. And it helps us feel like we can be part of something greater than ourselves in the pursuit of that purpose.
We live in a cynical, narcissistic world. One filled to the brim with attention-deficit-fueled fake news and disposable amusement. It's easy to get overwhelmed. Or worse, just beaten down. We need the hope that comes from a purpose. We need to be able to look forward to the things we can do to make a difference in a life, community, and even the world.
It's undeniably a good thing. And, yes, maybe the best of things.