Not only in the US but in many places around the world, 2008 more than any year in recent memory was a year of anticipation and wondering over who was going to be our next president. And as the economy got worse and worse, there was sadness especially for those whose jobs were affected. But out of this sadness grew some hope that there was somebody who could lead us out of the wilderness.
It is easy to think about how easy Barack Obama’s victory was on Election Night but until we went through our financial crisis in September, the election was pretty much a toss-up. But even for many of those who didn’t vote for him, the fact that a politician was able to inspire so much hope from those who were down and out and especially so much hope and passion from younger people was truly remarkable.
There is always that hope that the New Year will bring us a better life. This is the time of year when weight loss, exercise and stop smoking ads saturate the airwaves for those who are including these in their New Year’s resolutions.
Unfortunately for too many of us, the number one resolution for this coming year is to find a job. For those of us who have been looking for some time, we can tell you that it has not been easy. And now that the economy is taking a dive with more and more jobs being lost, it has never been harder to keep hope alive.
But when talking about hope, it is difficult not to talk about faith. Having hope is by definition, having faith that things will get better. For many of us, faith means believing that a higher being will help us through our low spots. But two other kinds of faith are at least as important. Having faith in oneself to prevail when times get tough is oh so difficult in the face of continued disappointment. But without it, it is oh so easy to sink into hopelessness and depression.
But having faith in others can also provide an important source of hope. Too many of us feel that we have to go it alone. But there are always those who are willing to lend a sympathetic ear along with perhaps a hand although sometimes they seem so hard to find or are busy with their own lives. When times are tough, it is never more important to maintain a network of friends and acquaintances. After all, they too are experiencing the same human condition and often can benefit from your support. Few things can help with our self-esteem though tough times than the satisfaction of being able to help others in need.
Hope begins in the dark; the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up. — Anne Lamott
My wish for all especially in these difficult times is that this coming year will bring an abundance of hope, prosperity and happiness!