Where there is no hope, it has been said, people perish. Hope is what makes man strike and what keep him alive. Hope is what binds people together. When Mrs. Gandhi called for ‘Garibi Hatao’- the abolition of poverty- she articulated a hope that man can entertain and can follow. It is the necessary, even vital ingredient in national resurgence.
When Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak said swaraj was his birthright and he shall have it, he did not mean that swaraj will come the next day or the day after or even ten years later. But the lamp he lit burned steadily to beckon others to follow.
When Winston Churchill said all that he had to offer was blood, sweat and tears he, too, was making a promise that if his fellow countrymen offered him these, he could hold out the hope of a free world. We need to hope if for no other reason than that the alternative is too fearsome to behold.
Despair does not take us very far. In fact it drags us down into despondency and possible self-destruction whereas hope leads us ever forward to success, howsoever slowly.
When the world around is collapsing it is important to have among us those with a robust sense of optimism who believe that the clouds may disperse and the sun may shine and all the world bloom again. Hope begets optimism and good cheer and the will to live, to fight and to change those sorry things entirely.
To hope is to be human. Animals do not hope, they do not look forward to all their tomorrows. Man does, which is why it is important that he can look forward to those tomorrows with hope and a joyous sense of anticipation. The tomorrows may never come or, when they do come, they may only bring in their wake unhappiness and tragedy. But to be able to think that with the dawn, a new and happier day would arise, gives substance and meaning to life.
It is not enough to hope; one must kindle hope in others to lighten their burdens. Nothing is lost as long as man can entertain even the mere flicker of hope.
SOURCE: ‘THE PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE’ by MV KAMATH