A Word on Wednesday: Hope
| The abstract hope cannot be illustrated beyond the four letters it contains.
Hope, when used as a verb, is seemingly without action. We cannot see someone hoping. Hope doesn’t sound like much more than “wishful thinking,” which cannot be measured or observed.
The expression, “all we can do now is hope,” marks this action as one of last resort. When all efforts to control a situation fail, only hope remains, until even that is sometimes lost.
What if we started with hope?
As a noun hope is confidence in the future. The word’s actual synonyms include courage, optimism, expectation. Its opposite is despair.
In contrast, a wish is more of request or a bid, and dreams are imaginings or visions. Likewise, to want is to yearn. Hope, though, steadfastly remains a reasonable assurance, just as it was at its origin in Old English, c.1200.
Hope, then, becomes the action of the strong and resilient. In silent elegance, one can hope with just a breath.
I close with these words from John Lennon, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”