Now that the gifts have been unwrapped, and talk of mistletoe and Christmas blockbusters subsided, it is fitting that we focus on a topic that captures the true spirit of this time of the year. Let us all set aside a few moments contemplating perhaps the greatest gift of all: hope.
Hope inspires. The simple notion that things can and will get better keeps us at the grindstone, toiling away at the tasks at hand. The whisper of that simple word fills our hearts as we drift off to sleep after yet another arduous day. Hope unites us all, no matter our age or gender and without regard to race or creed.
For those reading these words thinking they are the musings of a young, dare I say, naive, high school student, I gladly stand guilty as charged. I confess I have tapped into my bucket of hope in the past, and am perfectly willing to hope in the future.
The greatest perk of the bucket of hope is that it always replenishes itself. We can give hope to both ourselves and others, and that embodies the holiday spirit.
I hope I get into the college of my choice. I hope I continue to make my family proud of the man that I am becoming. I hope my blog blows up. I hope I can make it out of junior year alive.
This partial list of hopes may appear menial, but still illustrates the immense power of hope, that is, hope arcs over the trivial and the serious, over the mundane and the universal.
The only thing that hope requires is assistance in coming to fruition. Hope is nothing when stifled in a vacuum, and yet it is everything when nurtured by accompanying conduct.
At the risk of stating the obvious, if I hope to get into the college of my choice, I should act to get good grades. If I hope to land a certain job, I have to take the steps required to separate myself from others aspiring to get the same position.
To paraphrase the great coach Bob Knight, “Before you can win, you have to put yourself in the position to win.” Hope will undoubtedly blossom if placed in a conducive environment.
For this holiday season, my hope is we all reflect on our private hopes, for ourselves and for each other.
No hope is too small or unimportant. No hope is too ambitious or grandiose.
If we keep taking even baby steps towards those brilliant hopes, then we may all bask in the warmth of the eternal flicker of hope.