Hope: To hope is to want events to work out for the best and in the way you would like. It is to wish for a better tomorrow and is a feeling of desire for something to go well. However, wishing won’t get you anywhere without a little hard work and effort. If you want something, you have to work for it, but hope is often the first step to reaching your goal. What do you hope for in life? How has hope helped you advance in your life? What can hope help you achieve? Are you a hopeful person?
It has been said that hope springs eternal, but we all have observed that hope is in short supply for some. Toil as they may to make positive results occur, some individuals lose hope entirely after many instances where their hopes and plans are denied or completely destroyed. They lose faith in their ability/power to create a better tomorrow and begin to believe that other people, luck, or cosmic fate has aligned against them. Certainly, if true, these obstacles are beyond one’s ability to change. Yet, sometimes, the main obstacle to making our hopes come true is that our hope springs from unrealistic expectations based on faulty thinking. In these cases, all the hard work in the world will not actualize one’s fanciful hope.
However, it should not be unrealistic or fanciful for children to hope for a better life in a nation that has always proclaimed a willingness to help immigrants. More than 50,000 unattended children have been apprehended at our southern border between October 2013 and June 2014. As a result of US immigration law that states unattended minors from Central America cannot be sent back to their country of origin by themselves, US Border Patrol and other agencies are unable to properly process and care for all the children. It has been claimed that the influx of children, many of which are Honduran, El Salvadorian and Guatemalan, have been misinformed by coyotes and drug runners that citizenship will be automatic upon their arrival to the US. Yet, it is likely that the children would still risk illegally crossing the border because, in most cases, the opportunity they seek is the opportunity to survive. Some of these kids have no family to receive them when they are deported to their home country. Others are desperately trying to escape the drug violence and economic hardship they experience every day, which is no more or less than what you or I would probably do in the same situation. President Obama has asked for ways to speed up the deportation process, which makes it likely that these kids will lose the one “real” hope they have for a better life.
It was Martin Luther King Jr. who said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope”. Dr. King is reminding us that setbacks and our occasional failure to actualize the hopes we have are temporary. It is a reminder that maintaining hope is a necessary part of being human. Without hope, each one of us would be a danger to ourselves and others. Widespread despair would collapse societies and our existence as a species would probably come to an end. Luckily, human beings usually find a way to maintain optimism (see “Optimism” blog) and provide those in need with reasons to continue hoping. As long as we perceive that there is a shred of hope, the potential will exist for societal progress and positive change in our individual lives.