Hope is the positive force that propels us forward. With hope, there is an expectation of something we want to happen. We use it everyday; waiting impatiently for a bus to come and hoping it appears in the next minute, caring for a sick friend and hoping that s/he will get better soon, enjoying an indulgence in sweets and hoping to regain will power tomorrow to resume dieting, etc. Mentally we allow ourselves to flex to the possibilities of change. We imagine and create scenarios to fill our needs and desires. Having the mental freedom to conceive and dream of these changes is an integral part of our creative thought processes. We give ourselves permission to dream a little so that we can subconsciously will an event, a person, an experience to change and make a wonderful difference in our lives. Without hope, we’re relegated to the doldrums of life and open to helplessness, despair and depression.
With hope comes change and with change comes innovation. It is a simple flow chart. America captured this symbolically with the election of Barack Obama as our next President. We voted for “Change we can believe in” because we needed a new rudder to guide us safely through the current economic turbulence and other domestic problems. In support of Obama, the well known POP artist Robert Indiana at age 79, designed the sculpture HOPE as a graphic similar to his famous LOVE artwork (with the letter “O” on a diagonal). But what if Barack did not have hope? What if 2 years ago, with little money or endorsements and minimal support by the polls and pundits, Barack despaired and no longer believed that he could gain enough support of voters to be President? Fortunately his campaign mantra, the power of three affirmative words, “Yes, we can!” resonated strongly across the nation and across political divides to bring victory. It was based on hope and not fear, on change and not status quo.
Hope is also a survival tool. In 2002, Laurie Johnson survived a plane crash but lost her husband and young son in the accident. Left with a severely broken leg (femur), Laurie faced a long process of rehabilitation which included multiple surgeries and prolonged use of crutches. With physical and emotional struggles, she hoped that she could get back to her life prior to the accident. Bored with the dismal dull grayness of crutches, she and her sister started to play creatively with change. Their ideas ignited a new business that embraced crutches with fashion and comfort and LemonAid Crutches™ was born. Crutches and arm pads are now available in fun and elegant styles and provide valued comfort as well as visual pleasure.
Hope means replacing the old and choosing something new. It’s an opportunity for the heart and mind to flex together creatively and be an explorer in an unknown land. It’s a voluntary challenge we pursue when convention no longer makes sense and the new road is like a beautiful untouched path of fresh snow.
Martin Luther King, jr. said:
If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.