Shades of hope

Every New Year, we set out with a new resolution to trick ourselves.

From eating habit to exercising habit, from improving our interaction with our spouses to improving customer service.

Then the cold front hit us in the face. We immediately have to deal with harsh reality. The more immediate gets more attention than the importance since our responses are based purely on survival instincts: fight or flight.

Still it’s better to set goals and hold ourselves accountable than to lose hope altogether.

Hope has many shades, all of them positive.

It exists even at the bottom (when the Recession hit, the Economic Council was quoted as saying “we were on the brink of disaster”). Yet slowly, we have managed to pull ourselves out of it.

Take the Louisiana oil spill. For a while, that hole didn’t seem to ever get plugged. But it’s now behind us.

I was reading up on Ted Turner’s biography, “Call Me Ted”. He recounted one night hitchhiking in the snow at the Pennsylvania Turnpike, nearly freezing to death. If it were for today, no one would stop and pick him up.

Leadership started there, when he let his crew go ahead with the luggage in their tiny VW Beetle.

Or our late Mandela who could not wait to get out and meet Gordimer, Nobel-prize winner of July People.

They were not into revenge; intead, they nursed a hope that someday, apartheid as a system, would run its course. And sure enough, his hope has become ours.

People act desperately in desperate situation. But then, only the strong stay true in the worst of circumstances.

Gold must be tested by fire.

Back to our new year’s resolution. It’s the same for men everywhere to be tried by fire. Those who have hope, any shade, are the ones who remain. Those who don’t won’t. This should put shredding a few pounds in better perspective. Lose weight not hope.



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