I believe in faith. I believe in courage, valour, and love. I believe that no matter what the world throws at us, at what evil rises, at the persecution of innocent people, hope is always alive. I believe that life packs a mean punch, that people will come and stomp all over you, that you will waste tears over people who aren’t worth it, but if you have the courage to hope once again, then life will get better in the end.
This fantastical marvel are one of the very few concepts that are unexplained, but accepted internationally. It is capable of moving mountains, it is capable of rousing people to cry out against all injustice, it is the strength of a nation, of people, of children. It is hope.
If I was going to be honest with myself, hope is something that I am so foreign with, but at the same time, so intimate with. Hope is neither a caged bird, nor a roaring lion, but a little twinkling star. The little light that shines the barest sliver of illumination in the sea of darkness. It reaches out, and touches hearts. It links hands together in one common goal.
Hope is something that I hold closest to my heart. It encapsulates my dreams, banishes my worries, brandishes a sword against my fears, and gives me strength.
It shows me that it isn’t bad to say no once in a while.
It shows me that despite all my tears and fears, that there is something better on the horizon.
It shows me that there is no shame in dancing my heart away or dreaming about finding treasure in the little things.
It shows me that bad people underneath aren’t always rotten.
It shows me that love can endure anything.
This concept of hope is the only way that I can get up in the morning, and plaster a sunny smile on my face- determined and ready- to face the world. It’s the only way I can raise my fists, tilt my chin up, and declare loudly, “THIS IS NOT RIGHT.”
Hope allows me to forgive when forgiveness is needed, to be the shoulder for people to cry on, and pushes me to move forward, pumping a fist in the air, living life as myself. I understand that while people have a limitless potential for evil, they also have a limitless potential for good.
I remember spending endless nights, staring out my window, wondering why everything in the world was happening.
Why were people dying?
Why are evil men walking free?
I remember sobbing over the fact that we live in a world where bombs and gunshots are the melodies that generations of children hear everyday. I remember staring in stunned silence as the news of 9/11 suddenly flashed on television screens all over the world. I remember talking to my friends in a monotone voice, unable to meet their eyes, trying to remember to smile. My mind and soul was heading down a deeper pit, and I didn’t know how to claw myself back up. The darkness was too much, and it was going to consume me.
But that all changed.
It came to me outside. I sat outside, the blades of grass tickling the undersides of my legs, the air stirring the stray strands of hair that framed my face. The sun shine beautifully, the light dappling through the leaves of the tree. It was wonderfully silent, save for the occasional laughter of children in my neighborhood or the tweet of a bird or the whisper of the breeze. I leaned back, falling on my back, the impact cushioned by the grass. Taking a breath, I felt happy.
In that moment, I knew.
I knew that I had so much to live for, I had dreams, and loves. For the first time in a year, a brilliant, real smile blossomed on my face, tears slipping down my cheeks.
Many ask me, “Why do you hope?”
And I always answer, rubbing the back of my neck, tongue poking on the inside of my cheek. “I hope because I just do.”
There is no definitive answer to why I hope.
I hope for myself.
I hope for my family.
I hope for my friends and enemies.
I hope for my nation, and the world.
Hope makes me unbreakable. It makes me fearless. It pushes me to strive for a better world, to never settle for anything less. It makes me love, and dream. Hope tilts my head up, puff my chest out in pride, and grin.
I believe that hope is one of the strongest forces in the world.
Hope is the armour we all need. The little angel perched on our shoulders. The little flame flickering on the bottom of Pandora’s box. A mother’s hand, and a father’s reassurance.
I say this to anyone out there, who is losing all of their hope. Who believe that there is nothing good to live for. That nobody is going to help them. Don’t. Stand strong, there is always a better tomorrow. No fear, and no surrender. Plant your feet on the ground firmly, and speak. Don’t be afraid.
I’m not afraid anymore.