How have you been welcoming hope these days? I’m finding that the need is great today to welcome hope in myself and those around me. 

As I’ve been staring with a heavy heart into what feels like a widening “tragic gap” (what Parker describes as “the gap between the hard realities around us and what we know is possible”), I’ve been prompted to wonder, How do I move to welcome hope back into my life? 

Since this is a perennial question, I turned to a few wise leaders for inspiration on how to welcome hope.

I cultivate hope as an unshakable inner state of being, not a promising outer state of the world.

I take my inspiration for this from Václav Havel, who wrote:  

“The kind of hope I often think about…I understand above all as a state of mind, not a state of the world. Either we have hope within us or we don’t; it is a dimension of the soul; it’s not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation. Hope is…an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond it’s horizons. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but, rather, an ability to work for something because it is good, not because it stands a chance to succeed.” 

– Václav Havel, from Disturbing the Peace: A Conversation with Karel Huizdala as quoted in Rebecca Solnit’s Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities 

I strengthen my own faith in hope, grounded in courage.

In a recent blog post, Estrus Tucker shared stepping stones of courage from the life and wisdom of Martin Luther King Jr. One of these stepping stones is Dare to hope. 

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope,” wrote Martin Luther King Jr. in Strength to Love

Later in the book, he wrote: “Evil and pain in this conundrum of life are close to each of us, and we do both ourselves and our neighbors a great disservice when we attempt to prove that there is nothing in this world of which we should be frightened. These forces that threaten to negate life must be challenged by courage, which is the power of life to affirm itself in spite of life’s ambiguities. This requires the exercise of a creative will that enables us to hew out a stone of hope from a mountain of despair.”

Guided by these words, how might we dare to hope? 

What does welcoming hope look like for you?


Terry Chadsey
Executive Director

P.S. Cultivate your experience of hope at a Courage & Renewal program. Find a program near you.

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