A to Z Blog Challenge

H is for Hope



“Hope is the dream of a waking man,” wrote Aristotle. Hope is an aspect of cognition unique to our species. That ability to see the positive in future events without any facts or experience to suggest that it will be so. Hope is the thin line that separates the optimist from the pessimist. It is the fragile wall between the dreamer and the realist.

I believe hope is our greatest asset. The mystical thing that gives us faith in our dreams, in the outcomes of our lives, and the well-spring of our courage to not only endure, but to persevere.

But Hope is not a strategy. It provides comfort and supplies the energy to carry on, but as Benjamin Franklin noted, “He that lives upon hope will die fasting.” Life is not fair, and its outcomes not ordained just because we wish it to be so. Hope without action is a dream that never comes true. For even the hope of winning the lottery requires one takes action…like buying a ticket.

My stories are filled with Hope, even in their innate darkness. It is my admiration for those who believe they can move their situation… or the world…to a positive outcome that drives my desire to examine characters. For me Hope in Action is called Courage.

But I’ve never reveled in the the soberness of the situations that require hope. I believe today, for good or bad, is tomorrow’s past and my next step is so much more important than my last step. I also believe that the internal “spirit” that fuels positive beliefs also fuels our humor. Laughter and humor, that ability to make light of the serious or the dangerous, those things are Hope’s voice. So it is not uncommon for my characters to laugh or to find something funny in the darkest of situations—it’s not unlikely for me to do the same. Laughter is the victory cry that quiets the tears of despair.

Hope is a funny thing and it is an important thing. Hope is the fuel that feeds the action, that spawns our ability to keep going and to keep trying. I cannot separate that belief from my writing. It is engrained in me and therefore the essence of my written work.

If asked to define my work in a single phrase, it would be that every story is about Hope and Trying. Sometimes that is enough for the characters, but often it is not. Regardless of outcome, however, the characters that hope and try, earn my respect even when they fail. So do the people in the real world.


10 replies »

  1. As the spirited monkey vicariously jumpeth upwards and downwards, the realization hit: the banana, which he covets ever so strongly, might be out of reach. Bullets of sweat escaped his pores and race they did…race they did…BUT! The monkey decided defeat was not part of his anatomy. Yes: anatomy. Acceptance of defeat shall not be why he dies of hunger. Anger detonated from within. The spirited monkey acknowledged that it was now or forever bye-bye banana. Backwards steps were taken. And the monkey raced…race he did…race he did, and in one outrageous move…he jumped over the fence and picked up the banana from the floor.

    He tried and he had hope.
    Oh, yeah…I enjoyed your post.
    (I think I’m going to have fun with this lol)

    • SK your mastery of the information is very informative and bright. I look forward to more details on your mind…LOL…we should have a weeklong “write in spam or purple prose” contest

  2. If you ask me, hope is best paired with a keen eye, so that one can see an opportunity at every moment to improve one’s life or achieve your dreams. That’s part of why I’ve been able to do the things I’ve done in the past couple of years, including publishing my books.

  3. How eloquently put and so true. I believe in hope and we, as humans, must have this in order to survive and to change the world. Great things have been accomplished by one person who had hope

  4. Hope and Trying. That’s a good way to describe writing in general I think. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a story that didn’t have some element of both (even if they turned out futile). I certainly can’t imagine actually liking a story that did not involve hope and trying.

    Hope and Trying. I like it. 🙂

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