Giving Hope to Others

He was known as the man of hope by those who turned to him for advice.  Over the years, he made himself available to those seeking guidance from someone they trusted.  This wasn’t his job, but he tried to help everyone who came to him.  He spent hours every day talking to those who sought him out for hopeful advice.  And there were also those whom he could help with written words via email.  Those whom he helped often wondered why he made himself so available.  Those whom he worked with thought him to be foolish.  The only thing he ever asked in return was to know how the advice turned out.

The man of hope refused recognition for his efforts.  “I am just glad I could help” was his standard response when asked about his refusal to be recognized.  But what others didn’t realize, was that the he did receive recognition.  It came in the form of wonderful notes from those he helped.  In many cases, the notes gave him credit for turning around lives.  But the recognition he cherished most was how those he helped had in turn helped others.

Albert Einstein said: “I wish to do something Great and Wonderful, but I must start by doing the little things like they were Great and Wonderful.”  When we think of providing hope, we often imagine the effect being something major.  But the effort we make can often seem small at the time, but take on major significance as its impact is realized.

Many people say they want to provide hope, but they don’t know how.  The secret to providing hope is not having a plan.  Instead, make the most of every opportunity.  As Einstein says, treat the little things as if they were great and wonderful.  What you may find is a fulfillment from doing the little things well, and this may lead to finding a cause you can believe in.  You have to believe that if you do your best, it will provide hope.

Providing hope to others should not be something you do to achieve some form of recognition from others.  The real joy in providing hope comes from an internal satisfaction of knowing how your efforts helped others.

We live in a society where people want to provide hope, but don’t know how.  How might we build a capacity for learning how to provide hope?  As life happens, those who had the ambition of providing hope often get pulled away from their ambitions to deal with life issues.  How can we develop the ability to sustain providing hope, even when faced with life challenges?  Finally, how might we transition the motivation for providing hope from one of public glorification to one of personal satisfaction?

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“I don’t want to end up simply having visited the world.”  – Mary Oliver (Poet who won the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize)

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