Hope Sustains Us

The hand of fetus reaching out to grab the doctor’s finger during in utero surgery.

The shortest pessimistic poem in the world goes like this: “Hope? Nope.” – unknown author.

We can see in the photograph the hand of the unborn child reaching out of the womb and holding on to the surgeon’s hand. He or she is not giving up or letting go; he or she already has hope in his/her small, beating heart in the world of not only today but also tomorrow.

It is hope and faith that keep the black dogs of despair, self-pity, depression at bay. When they threaten us, we as people, couples, families, communities, cities, nations, and world citizens, can sicken, resort to senseless violence, forsake our fellows, and even self-destruct.

So it’s good to keep hope alive in our lives and perhaps realize that our daily struggles and conflicts are best backstopped by the great human gifts of hope and faith.

My dad puts life’s struggles and conflicts into a simple adage by which he has lived: “As long as you leave the place better than you found it.” And I agree. Perhaps we get closest to our purpose as mortals when we see that our living and dying, underpinned by hope, will not turn to gloom because we keep our aim on that rule and heroic struggle to brighten–and not darken–our world.