Hope and Depression

His life was one of continuing melancholy. He had lost loved ones sending him into depression. He had failed at several jobs. His one hope in life was to make a contribution, but he never seemed to find his calling.

But his salvation was giving hope to others. He was a wonderful story teller with a folksy wisdom. He had a common touch and could connect to others as few in his position were able to do. He was bothered by those who had no hope.

Through his visions of hope, he lifted the hopes of others. He struggled to think about how to convey hopes while facing one of the toughest challenges anyone had ever faced. His actions were decisive even though he had internal turmoil about those decisions.

How does one help others with their hopes while struggling with their own hopes? For Abraham Lincoln, his hopes were buoyed by his interactions with others. The process of talking to others helped him through his own melancholy. Helping others also helped him.

How do we maintain our hopes when it seems like we are overwhelmed by our own life events? One thing we don’t want to do is to withdraw into ourselves. Lincoln could have withdrawn from society, but he did the opposite. He put himself in a position where the chances of failure were great, and his depression would have accelerated. Why might someone approach their hopes in such a bold fashion?

For Lincoln, his hopes were fulfilled by how he could help others. Through the decisions he made and his sense of angst he felt for those he met, he was able to rise to fulfill his own hopes.

When each of us feel our own hopes being overwhelmed, we might think how we can reach out to others and offer our support to them. Doing this can add new perspectives to the challenges we face and make us realize that our own hopes are not lost. Helping others can also help us rethink new ways to approach our hopes.

There is a famous saying that goes like this: “Time heals old wounds.” That may or may not be true, but certainly time won’t help if it is used to dwell on the past and not to move forward with our hopes. Time spent helping others can make our own hopes seem more achievable.

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“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”  – Joshua J. Marine (Author)

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