“We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope. ”
(The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)
It is so easy to lose hope, especially when the pressures in our lives seem to be chronic and endless. I encourage you to find hope in whatever strange place she might be found.
Dr. King managed to find it even when he was jailed, even when it seemed like his work was futile, even when his life and his loved one’s lives were threatened. We don’t know how he did it because we have never lived in his head. But that is his story; Not ours. We have to find our own hope.
The answer for me personally is often tied up in another Dr. King quote: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?'” By reaching outside of my own struggles and using whatever resources I have to help others, even in the simplest of ways, I find myself re-engaged with vitality and with hope. It might be a kind word, a secret gift, a prayer. Sometimes something as simple as a smile offered to a stranger can shift me and the other person from hopeless to hopeful.
Other people have done it for me time and time again. By paying those kindnesses forward, I remember that I am part of the human family, meaningfully connected to others in profound ways.
On this King Day, I encourage you to reach outside of yourself and outside of your own challenges. Use your gifts to make someone else’s life better. It could be something on the grand scale or it could be as simple as a smile. Whatever you have to give, give it. Be attentive to what others are giving you as well, accepting their gifts, and them, with gratitude.
As Anne Lamott wrote, “If we are not giving and receiving every day, we become a stagnant pool of clutch and pinch and grab; a generous spirit is heaven.” Let’s connect with “heaven” and with one another today.
If you could use some help finding your hope today, please use the “Send a Message” form on this page. I’m happy to help any way I can.