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Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness” (Harker 2). Hope is seen by most as confidence in the future, and is essential for human existence. When someone thinks of hope, they have expectations, usually to accomplish their goals. Hope is usually a desire for good to happen. There are three main reasons as to why hope is essential in human life. The first is that hope shapes an individual’s conduct and inspires them, expanding their perseverance and empowering that individual to continue with life. Secondly, hope introduces new innovative opportunities and fills a person with strong emotions, for example, joy and courage. Third, hope affects how a person perceives events. People use hope in many ways, mostly for inspiration and persistence through hard times.

Inspiration is one of the most important factors as to why hope is important. There are many aspects to inspiration in one’s mind, but some of the most inspiring come from stories of hope. One of these types of stories is of Abraham, where God told Abraham “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you” (Genesis 22:2 ESV). God tells Abraham to sacrifice his long-awaited child. He had strong hope, though, and he did not hesitate. Through strong faith, he believed that God would not take his son at all (Genesis 22:5, 8). Abraham believed God would bring Isaac back to life if the sacrifice did take place (Hebrews 11:19). Abraham took his son up to a mountain, laid him down, and prepared to kill him in obedience to God’s command. However, God intervened by stopping Abraham from killing his son and by providing a sacrifice in the form of a ram caught in the nearby brush. Abraham’s faith had been tested, and proved, by his obedience to God. His faith that God would protect his son was well warranted, and it gives the reader hope in God knowing that faith in him does not go unrewarded, inspiring Christians to follow this religion and its way of life. This method of inspiration opens new doors for creativity and innovation.

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Hope can inspire in other ways, such as creativity. It can inspire better academic achievement. In a study conducted by the University of Kansas and the University of Montana, “In Study 1, male and female athletes were higher in trait hope than nonathletes; moreover, hope significantly predicted semester grade averages beyond cumulative grade point average and overall self-worth” (Curry, 1). In this study, it is evident that there is a direct correlation between higher hope rates and academic success. Similarly, it also shows a direct correlation between athletic success. In the second study through research, the same universities found that in girls’ tracks at the University of Montana, “Thus, higher dispositional and state hope, as well as weekly practice, related to quicker running times. Among the motivational and emotion-related indices, dispositional hope, and to a small degree, state hope, augmented the predictions of faster running times” (Curry 5). This provides a direct correlation between success and hope, the higher hope that a student has, the more likely they are to reach their goal, in any walk of life. Through track academics or any creative pathway, hope will lead to greater results.

Hope can affect how a person perceives events. This is also true for the inverse, or lack of hope. An article written by Tone Rustøen on cancer nursing describes the impact of hope on the patient’s perspective.

Cancer can be a threat to life itself, as well as to the individual’s perception of the quality of life. The question of what contributes to a clinically significant change or difference in perceived quality of life remains unanswered. Hope is frequently referred to as important for coping with a disease such as cancer. Hope enables people to cope with difficult and stressful situations and suffering. Nevertheless, hope is seldom stressed in definitions of the quality of life for cancer patients and discusses the relationship between hope and quality of life, and hope can be regarded as a coping strategy. (Rustøen 1)

This quote from her article on quality of life directly shows that those who have hope have different perspectives on life than those who do not. Those with hope can use it as a coping strategy, making their quality of life improve. Optimism in a terminal-looking situation can make people happier, and willing to participate in activities, while loss of hope, or pessimism, can drag down a person’s quality of life. Different perspectives, while one has hope and the other doesn’t show how two patients could have contrasting perceptions of their illness.

In conclusion, hope is important to humanity. It drives out raw emotion and is essential for people to improve the quality of their lives, through the want of something good to happen. Hope has been hailed by thinkers of every age from Aristotle to Marcel. It has been endorsed by the spiritually minded as well as the most atheistic philosophers and scientists. It is told through the stories of Abraham, has been researched through academia and athletics, and has been linked to cancer patients to improve their quality of life. Hope improves the quality of life for all through creativity, inspiration, and perspective, and therefore it is a good time to be alive, as Dr. Kelly Johnson explains.

Works Cited

  1. Curry, Lewis A., et al. ‘Role of hope in academic and sport achievement.’ Journal of personality and social psychology 73.6 (1997): 1257.
  2. Harker, Patrick T. The Healing Power of Hope. No. 133. 2017.
  3. Rustøen, Tone. ‘Hope and quality of life, two central issues for cancer patients: a theoretical analysis.’ Cancer nursing 18.5 (1995): 355-361.

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