By: Lovie Tabron, Behavioral Medicine Coordinator
- A vision fueled by positive feelings and inspired actions (Hopefulminds.org)
- (n) A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen
- (v) want something to happen or be the case
Four letters, one syllable, essentially a very simple word. Yet, those four letters sometimes define a person and their will for the future. Hope, while mostly intangible is a common thread that connects us to one another. A tangible piece of hope for me is my family, especially the little ones that I wish to provide a “Yes you can” view for. According to hopegrows.net, “to have hope is to want an outcome that makes your life better in some way.” Sounds like something we should all seek right?
Hope, Optimism & Resilience
While all three are positive and run parallel hope and optimism do differ from one another. Hope is said to be more focused where optimism may be broader. The Cambridge Dictionary states that optimism “is the quality of being full of hope and emphasizing the good parts of a situation or a belief that something good will happen.” Hope, to me, is the slightly more personal portion of optimism that allows one to believe in themselves and to create a plan to make those beliefs come into fruition. Hope, optimism, and resilience have a relationship that are essential to affecting change. Resilience is found in the face of trauma or adversity where hope resides also.
It is said that hope is how we construct new possibilities. In situations where I have lost a loved one, hope provides the possibility of moving forward without their physical presence. It allows me an opportunity to be grateful for the time spent together and the impact they had on my life. It is a reminder in negative moments when things are hard, that we have the internal power to change our belief system and create positive/forward change. Lastly, on a journey of hope it is imperative to be surrounded by others who confirm and promote those internal beliefs. Hope gives each of us a fighting chance for tomorrow!
– Edwards, L. M., & McClintock, J. B. (2017). A cultural context lens of hope. Oxford Handbooks Online. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199399314.013.8
– Gallagher, M. W., & Lopez, S. J. (2009). Positive expectancies and mental health: Identifying the unique contributions of hope and optimism. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 4(6), 548–556. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760903157166
– Discover the story of Englishmore than 600,000 words, over a thousand years. Home : Oxford English Dictionary. (n.d.). Retrieved October 7, 2021, from https://www.oed.com/