The 10th Word of Christmas: Hope

I hope I get a bicycle for Christmas.

I hope I score big in the lottery.

I hope my team wins the national championship.

Our minds swirl with the number of things we hope for, and not just at this time of year. I’ll bet if we added up all the time we spent wishing each year, the aggregate would exceed three days!

Here comes the former English teacher in me, rising to the surface. Rather than using the word “hope” as a verb, like I did above, consider the word as a noun. Having “hope” is completely different than just “hoping.” Hoping suggests that we need help from someone or somewhere in order to make something come true. It’s a cousin to “wishing.” But having hope doesn’t need anyone’s help and exists because we want it to.

Hope is defined in some sources as “an optimistic attitude of mind based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large.” The first four words of that definition are the essence of hope – “an optimistic attitude of mind.”

That optimism is the perfect health tonic. It reduces our stress, causes the lines on our faces soften, makes our hearts swell, but in a good way. It can go big, like having the hope that enemies lay down their weapons. Or it can be personal, like having the hope that our loved ones know every day how much they’re loved.

Hope never expires and never goes stale. With each sunrise, our hope supply can be refilled to the brim. We can share it to excess and always have more. It is vital in this world because it can crush hate, anger, and cruelty without ever being loud or violent.

Hope: the one thing I “hope” all of you receive in abundance.

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