At risk of alienating my non cynical readership, the idea of writing about “Hope” is a bit cliche these days. There I have said it. Nothing against hope. I love hope. I hope someone reads this. I hope I finish writing these 500 words before my patient wakes up and I have to “get dirty” in that ever so special nurse sort of way that keeps so many good and caring people out of the nursing profession. Not only do I love hope, I think hope attracts love, just as much as love creates hope. They are so connected they might even be different forms of the same “thing” for lack of a better word. This may be part of “The why” that so many people seem to live without hope and love. They are not a person, place, or object. They are not really feelings or emotions. Possibly Love could be a verb, but that too is far from complete and a bit cliche. My first impulse is to say hope and love are intangible and yet so often they are the most palpable element in the room.
All this is not the result of alack of something in love and hope as mush as an issue with human language. In my case mostly English. I am pretty good with French, at least my American friends say so and a few very pleasant French people have said they thought they thought I might be French. No doubt they hoping to make me feel loved. That said I have come across no word or word group in French seems to define either concept is a compact easily word. Like a rock. We all know what a rock is. Whether it is just sitting there or someone throws one in your direction, a rock is a rock. A duck is a duck. Hope is hope and love is love too, but its not the same. That to me is part of the beauty.
Beyond the beauty of hope and love are the practical aspects. They keep us alive. Like many teenagers, I suppose, there was many days, or seasons as they say in today’s best sellers, when I did not expect to make it to adulthood. I simply did not, no need for detail here, either you understand or you don’t. If you don’t consider yourself very lucky and thank your parents. If you understand, consider yourself lucky, it can increase your odds of survival and at the very least make your remaining time a bit more enjoyable.
Even when I did not expect to live long enough to be like my parents of Gandhi or President Lincoln I had a sense of hope. I could hope for something to tasty to eat, something interesting on TV, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom was always fun, or just that my brother would stop tickling me. I always had hope because I always had love, love from my family and friends. Looking back I am not so sure I really knew I loved them then or even that I showed them then. Sadly I probably don’t really show them very much now. But what I do know is that looking back on then I do love them all now, or at least I love that they were there with me then. And like soldiers who have been through war together, I love that we made it through those day together. Even the ones that are gone my love seems totally present. The rock that hit me in the head with I was 10 yrs old, not so much. That is the beauty of love and hope and why I need to share it more and make it so.