No, it’s not sissy. Hope, that is. They believe it’s girlie. Grit, they reckon, is manly. Hope pleads. Grit demands. Hope hopes to get, even as grit gets.... So, is hope superfluous? Ordinary? Not really, no. Hope stands misread. And not so much for its gender alignment but for its core: soft, unobtrusive, intangible.
Hope is not the weapon of the failed, the doomed and the gloomy. Hope isn’t leftovers — what remains when all is lost. It isn’t the consolation prize; an also ran. Hope isn’t parsley you sprinkle atop that Stroganoff. Or even rosemary you plant on your Shepherd’s Pie. Hope is the pie — carrots and all, the chunks of wine-doused meat that is Stroganoff. Not window dressing, the garnish and in that expendable.
Hope is the opening batsman, the quarterback and the goalie. And yet, it is trivialised. Unappreciated. Treated the dumb blonde of emotions. Made to stand after a wealth of more celebrated cousins: optimism, grit, determination and doggedness.
Hope is considered warm but vague. Good to have, but not sought after. Pretty but inconsequential. Most equate hope with that shrug of defeat. Losers take home hope, winners the trophy! Not quite…. Winners started with hope, played with hope and if they don’t harness hope with that trophy, victory might delude them tomorrow. So, here’s the truth, the simple fact. Hope is what gets you started. It’s what keeps you going. It’s the beginning and the end, and whilst on the journey it’s what keeps you on track. Agile. Alert. Determined.
Hope is the seed, the path and the goal.
Hope creates desire, and in that a goal. It all starts with a thought. And hope is that affirmative thought. That desire that manifests as will. Will perseveres as determination, and then resolve. Once you have the resolve you create the means to get to what you want. The seed? Hope. The push through the journey? Hope. The shoulder through the pitfalls? Hope. The backup at every twist? Hope…. Intangible, did we label it!
Also, hope is not strictly feminine. And why must “manliness” (resilience, composure) be defined by stoicism? “I do not sit and hope; I’d rather do,” you retort. Yes, but hope isn’t sitting by the window waiting for him to return home. Hope is to get on and get with it, and allow him to catch up with you where you are. Wherever you are. (Whoever he might be: man, woman, fame or fortune.)
For hope lets you fly, it doesn’t bind. It doesn’t stall. It spurs. Gives you wings. Wings of belief such that you hope, you do and you get there by and by. And never mind the time it takes, for hopeful journeys are happy journeys, fulfilling journeys.
Some dismiss hope because it stands for attachment and possibility — desired outcomes. So much easier to accept the end, bury the belief and move on. No one hurt in the process, especially you. Sure, but move where? To a hope-less world… Yes, outcomes are not ours to determine, ours is to do even as we be who we are. And hope isn’t in conflict. Rather it’s that rare emotion that straddles being and doing.
Hope cannot be infused. It’s a state of being. It defines you. Hopefuls are, well, hopefuls. The hopeful has an innate edge. His buoyancy precedes him no matter the circumstance, favourble or not. But even as he hopes, hope gets him to do. Hope is karm. It spurs action. Catalyses. Hopefuls are strategists. Hopefuls are lateral thinkers. Hopefuls are creative. Leaders are hopefuls. Winners are hopefuls. And you know the commonality? Problems get them to excel. Hope bestows on them that unthinking inclination to think ways around any situation.
Meanwhile, hope’s archenemy is doubt. Doubt is doom. Spirituality says that one negative thought, an iota of doubt, takes away happy endings. For it takes away the energy around the thought you created. Dims determination. When you hope allow not the shadow of doubt.
For hope is undiscourageable will. Hope is unchanging, continuous determination. Hope makes you brave. Take the plunge. Hope gets you to take chances. Hope makes you believe. Believe that the safety-first philosophy is for the doubtful. The hopeful is the fool in love. The hopeful is the vulnerable. The hopeful is unafraid to walk backwards. Hope gives him the readiness to fail, the grit to try again and the wisdom to know when to change his orbit.
Nupur Mahajan is a sum of many parts. Ideas are her business even as her creative streak sees her straddle television, advertising, publishing, radio and brands. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org