Exploring Human Potential

7 & 7: Hope vs. Despair


Hope resides in the future, in the possibility, in the blessings, lessons, redemption not yet visible. Whether the light comes from within or without is unclear. But this we know, it can only be extinguished as a voluntary act. This is not to say that people have no reason to despair. There are practically no limits to the reasons, at one time or another, in every life. The fortunate and the unfortunate suffer. And yet hope survives in part on the knowledge that pain, insecurity and deeply embedded doubt carry with them sparkling moments of insight and redemption. It is easier to hope in company, with others showing the way. But never easy. Still, when given the choice, even were the destination the same, would you rather go in hope or in despair? So cry out if you will, for at least you’re crying out (to something) and not crying in (to nothing). And do we not often find a way? If we look around inside and out, at small problems and large, isn’t life a mixture of suffering and overcoming it? It is not a certain world. But if the dice are to be rolled, who’s to say you won’t come up a winner soon. You can’t see around the corner, nor find the secret gate, without stepping around the corner, reaching out. Our strength, our light lies in our roots, deep inside. The desire to survive, to resist, to love, to protect, to care and be cared for. Fear not!


Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never is, but always to be blest.
Alexander Pope

Even in the deepest sinking there is the hidden purpose of an ultimate rising. Thus it is for all men, from none is the source of light withheld unless he himself withdraws from it. Therefore the most important thing is not to despair.
Hasidic Saying

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.
Charles A. Beard

Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.
Lin Yutang

It has never been, and never will be, easy work! But the road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they lead to the same destination.
Marion Zimmer Bradley

Even the cry from the depths is an affirmation: why cry if there is no hint of hope of hearing?
Martin Marty

Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.
Helen Keller
In the face of uncertainty, there is nothing wrong with hope.
Bernie S. Siegel, M.D. Still round the corner there may wait,
A new road, or a secret gate.
J. R. R. Tolkein

Deep in their roots,
All flowers keep the light.
Theodore Roethke When fear is excessive it can make many a man despair.
Saint Thomas Aquinas

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