Contrary to what most people think, HOPE is not an emotive or an emotion. It is not a fleeting feeling. It is a by-product of a cognitive or mental function whereby the person in distress can hope because s/he has plenty of strategies that s/he can utilize to keep him or her in motion towards his or her goal.

     In front of a troubled person, a despondent victim, or a dispirited family or friend, instead of just saying, “There’s hope”, you might want to ask the questions:

“What are your plans, then?”; “What are your strategies to get you un-stuck?”; and “Who can you ask for help?”. Whatever s/he will mention to you as an answer is precisely the basis of his/her hope.

     I sometimes despise people who would normally leave the anxious ones in a state of gushing, hazy optimism. They are in one process, disillusioning people to have a temporary feeling of comfort by extracting struggles out of the human experience. There are times when I’m guilty of that, too. I keep reminding myself of this whenever I feel tempted to blurt out something that can make me feel more comfortable. 

     Hope is not an anesthesia or a pain reliever. It does not alleviate the pain. It enables you, however, to acknowledge and confront your pain and endure it while moving towards your desired outcome.

     It’s not just: “How can I think this situation is not so bad?”

     It is: “How can I will myself to see that this can still be good – an opportunity to begin again, to gain a new foothold, to move forward or to go in a better direction?”

     It’s not just: “Be positive!”

     It is: “How can I be ceaselessly creative and resourceful in these challenging times?”

     It’s not just: “This is not so bad compared to other people.”

     It is: “How can I make myself better compared to my last personal-best-record?”

     Hope is an active blueprint that can make you say, “Yes, this might work!” Once we get used to the pain of trying, it stings a little less every day. It gets a little less difficult each day. Hopefully. 

Quick Notice of Acknowledgement: Thank you Ms. Charmina Castro for lending us the photos used for this article (both at the Home Page and here in this Content Page). These were the photos she skillfully shot during Cebu’s Sinulog Festival way back in 2015. Jhois and I want to immortalize your visual creations and whimsical snippets by showcasing them in this platform. 

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