This I Believe

Matthew - New Vineyard, Maine
Entered on December 6, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: hope

I believe in hope. Often times this world seems bleak and uncaring, but to simply lift your chin can make everything around you a bit more tolerable. Hope is what carries us through the most turbulent days and downright trashy circumstances we come in unfortunate contact with. Hope is the well from which we draw the tiniest flicker of life; a well that always make me smile when I make the journey back.

Mom taught me many things through her tactless, nonchalant personality and bubbly, warm home. She told me how nearly impossible it is to avoid terrible times in life. Whenever unfortunate circumstances did overtake us, my mother took this disruption of her day to instruct me about this world and, more importantly, how I should react. When I fell off my new, super-fast bike on our unpaved driveway, she would first tell me how terrible I was at riding fast, and then begin to dress my bloody knee and help me hobble inside. Her tendency to let her joy overflow into her mothering made for an amazing nurse, but only after laughing for quite some time at our misfortune. Though it sounds like a terrible characteristic, but it is in this balance of truth and care that she introduced hope. She told us that things were never as bad as we thought, and would remind us that all our wounds will eventually heal and soon we will be able to go outside and play again.

The hope that my mother mistakenly instilled in me is still present today, lifting me from the worst of days without taking one step. I no longer have bloody knees. Now I face relationship disasters, employment stress, and college bills. A cookie and a kiss will no longer heal these wounds, but hope still abounds and in it we find strength and endurance in our deepest pain. I believe that forcing a smile amidst tears can do a world of difference and make a difference in the world. I believe that we must cling to hope, and certainly more now in the present state of the world with the terror and desperation we face. Then again, mom would say that it isn’t so bad. At least I’ll be home for Christmas and we can go on one of our long walks down her favorite route in town. As long as there is still time and possibility, hope will survive and must be cherished. The sharing of our hope brings healing for those who are having a terrible day, week, year. Perhaps the young woman who made your coffee this morning needs your genuine smile, or the old man who walks the street. For him to know that there are still people in this world who are willing to help him carrying his groceries home will be perpetually beneficial for his life and yours. While there is time, use it to start sharing hope with those closest you, and even before that, with ourselves.