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Energising Lives with Hope
Hope is an essential ingredient in our quest for a healthy and purposeful life. Unfortunately, there is a lot that is happening in T&T that weighs heavily on the minds and on the spirits of people and leading to a growing sense of hopelessness, helplessness and despair. Many people seem to be consumed by doubt and fear of the future that some see as uncertain and others as bleak. There is a lot of negative energy in the complaining and whining that seem to have become a pastime. All this negativity fuels our lack of self-confidence, which we often express in a kind of false bravado, thus generating much societal noise. Interestingly, at the same time I see a lot of creative energy emanating from a people who continue to display a high level of personal freedom and creativity. In a sense, there is something beautiful and wonderful that pervades the society in the midst of the grumbling, anger, rage and the violence.
I see this as our positive energy that is crying out to be released so that we can better fulfil our human potential. Hope fuels the release of this energy. The Chinese proverb, It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness, is instructive. Our leadership development programme, Leading From Above The Line, is a message of hope. It is rooted in the belief that we have the inherent capacity to live moral lives and to build a society of peace and harmony in spite of the social challenges of today. Hope is the single most important ingredient for energising the human spirit. Hope is to the hu-man spirit what oxygen is to the human body. Without hope there is suffocation of the spirit—most often a slow drawn-out process in which the body is physically alive, but the human being is spiritually dead, thus living in a state of permanent emotional pain, which is experienced as helplessness, hopelessness and despair. It is Daniel Goldman who noted: From the perspective of emotional intelligence, having hope means that one will not give in to overwhelming anxiety, a defeatist attitude, or depression in the face of challenges or setbacks. Indeed, people who are hopeful evidence less depression than others as they manoeuvre through life in the pursuit of their goals, are less anxious in general, and have fewer emotional distresses.
Without hope, the human potential remains hidden, moral values have no worth, purpose is obscured and happiness is only a frustrated dream. Without hope, we are without perspective on life —we exist in a state of sustained confusion. Life appears jumbled and without direction not knowing from whence we came and in what direction we are heading. Without hope, life appears pointless and we can wait to die in the emptiness of life, even though we are afraid to die. Hope is the essence of life and living. It says that there is a reason to be alive. It says that there is a lot to live for. We can look forward to a better future. And we can welcome the future. We are excited about being alive. We have a sense of purpose. We know that we are not alone. With hope we see the beauty of life, both in ourselves and in others. When we are hopeful we willingly extend love to others and we are conscious of our morality and our spirituality. With hope we know that there is value in our lives and we strive to live out that value.
With hope, we know that we can make a contribution and we are excited about making that contribution. We are thankful for the opportunity to serve. We live to express our potential—to share our gift with others and to share our life with others. With hope we are positive and optimistic. We are energised with the human spirit. Martin Luther King, Jr, writing in The Trumpet of Conscience, tells us: If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream. We must all be able to dream of a better future before we can set about creating that future. Let us all strive to live in hope and to become greater messengers of hope. The alternative is unthinkable. In the Leading From Above The Line programme, hope is one of the seven leading positives that as human beings we are challenged to cultivate as antidotes for our negative emotions. The others are love, humility, forgiveness, confidence contentment and generosity. Together, these strengthen us to display greater emotional mastery in our lives.
We can all energise our lives with hope.
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