Is a powerful, motivational “thing.”

We have all been through so much in the last year; we have seen a virus ravage our way of life, we have seen governments fall and rise and genocides, explosions, weird weather events and more.  Yet, we have also seen the very best of humanity and nature - so many of you stepped up to help others facing food insecurity and shortages.  Others made masks and accessories.  Some of you gave of your time in ways no news media outlet will ever report.  Thank you for reminding us that there is always something we can do.

Hope is around the corner.  We cannot slide into complicity - our health and safety must come first because without that, our economies will not matter.  Once we are out of the proverbial woods, there is much reconciliation needed. Not just in the way in which we see people but in terms of how we live our lives.  Stay strong, stay blessed, stay safe and stay within Hope.  Remember that hope takes root where it is planted, watered and nurtured.  

Keep taking care of each other.  We are indeed each other's keepers, as Covid has shown us. God bless, be kind, and please go plant some trees.  

When Hope breathes…

“The right to hope is the most fundamental human motivation I know.”  
 — Baccalaureate Address, Brown University, His Highness The Aga Khan 1996

When hope takes root within an individual, that hope can be such a factor for motivating and lasting change.  A belief in oneself to overcome, to outlive, to outgrow, to outmaneuver whatever challenges may lie in one’s path begins in hope.  Hope is the quintessential sustenance of that belief.

Challenges will always be present in life; this is factual.  The challenge to life is to find Grace within rising above or meeting those challenges.  Many of you are questioning if you are overdoing things for the holidays.  Others are questioning when or if they’ll ever see their relatives from the Middle East.  Yet others, are sleeping on sidewalks in the coldest of wintry weather.   All of us possess the capability of hope; of grasping on to whatever it is that causes hope to breathe spirit into us.  So long as we have a belief within ourselves to strive beyond our known capabilities, we have hope.

The tricky thing about hope is that it is highly criticised and often imitated but never fully achieved.  If we look at what constitutes hope, we have to look at what necessitates its existence. When something isn’t working on the level we need or expect, hope is necessitated.  When all else seems lost, hope is necessitated. When Grace is needed but isn’t quite present, hope is necessitated.  To have hope, is to change an underlying human limitation: losing faith.

There are many who would argue that hope is a waste of time.  The other day I heard Diane Sawyer remark that someone had once told her “a criticism is a really bad way of making a request.” If we apply this to those who would criticise hope, it is not surprising to realise that those who belittle this great motivating factor are those who likely need it most.

This is what I know for sure– when it seems that I am being challenged most and the only place to which I can turn is Spirit, I know that my ‘right to hope’ is so powerful, that Spirit has no choice but to acquiesce.