I went back to my posts of last January to see if I had a word of the year last year.  I believe I had a word and simply did not write about it.  You see each year I believe I get a word that guides me throughout the year.  One year it seemed I heard the word “Passion” everywhere I went and in everything I read.  One year I heard “Bold” and I believe last year I heard the word “Joy”.  I lived in Joy last year.  I am awaiting the word for this year.  What is swirling around me as I have been listening these last few days of 2014 is the word “HOPE”.  Perhaps that is the word this year?

What is HOPE?  As with many of my questions I was led to google the word HOPE.  I was very surprised by what I found.  First there was Project HOPE which I had actually heard about long ago.  They do good works throughout the world. From their website:

Since 1958, Project HOPE has worked in more than 120 countries to make quality and sustainable health care available for people around the globe. Our work includes educating health professionals and community health workers, strengthening health systems, improving the health of women and children, fighting diseases such as TB, HIV/AIDS and diabetes and providing humanitarian assistance through donated medicines, medical supplies and volunteer medical help.. – See more at: http://www.projecthope.org/what-we-do/#sthash.8bVJajX1.dpuf

Then I read that there is a HOPE Scholarship in Georgia.  From their website:

Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship is available to Georgia residents who have demonstrated academic achievement. The scholarship provides money to assist students with their educational costs of attending a HOPE-eligible college in Georgia.

There also is a HOPE TV Channel.  From their website:

The official television network of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Hope Channel offers programs on wholistic Christian living and focuses of faith, health, relationships, and community. It’s television that will change your life! Using the latest technology, we produce more than 95 percent of our programs and reach not only across the United States and Canada, but also other countries.

Lastly, I found HOPE COLLEGE in Holland, Michigan which may be of interest to some friends of mine who are moving out that way this year.  Who knew?  From  their website I learned:

Hope graduates are educated to think about life’s most important issues with clarity, wisdom, and a deep understanding of the foundational commitments of the historic Christian faith. They are agents of Hope who live faithfully into their vocations.

– See more at: http://www.hope.edu/about#sthash.qzKr2aZA.dpuf

Then of course I looked it up in the dictionary and on Wikipedia.

 HOPE: to want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true

intransitive verb

1:  to cherish a desire with anticipation  2archaic :  trust

transitive verb 1:  to desire with expectation of obtainment  2:  to expect with confidence :  trust

— hop·er noun — hope against hope :  to hope without any basis for expecting fulfillment

From Wikipedia:

Hope is the state which promotes the desire of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or in the world at large.[1] Despair is often regarded[by whom?] as the opposite of hope.[2] Hope is the “feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best” or the act of “look[ing] forward to something with desire and reasonable confidence” or “feel[ing] that something desired may happen”.[3] Other definitions include: “to cherish a desire with anticipation”; “to desire with expectation of obtainment”; or “to expect with confidence”.[4] In the English language the word can occur either as a noun or as a verb, although hope as a concept has a similar meaning in either use.

In leadership

[5]Napoleon Bonaparte said: “A leader is a dealer in hope”.[citation needed]

Robert Mattox, social activist and futurist, proposes a social-change theory based on the hope phenomenon.[6] There is significant research on the ability of leadership to effect change,[citation needed] but little research exists that examines the conditions of leadership necessary to initiate and successfully lead change.

Many[quantify] leadership theories presuppose that an individual who does the right things will be an effective leader.[citation needed] Dr. Larry Stout postulates that certain conditions must exist before even the most talented leaders can lead change. Dr. Stout highlights four conditions necessary to lead change:

people (who)

place (where)

position (what)

period (when)

If a leader has a green light in all four conditions, they will be able to lead change.[7]

Considering these leadership conditions among other macro social change-drivers, Robert Mattox proposes a change management theory. Dealers in Hope explores four leadership profiles: Steve JobsBarack ObamaMike Morhaime, and the historical[citation needed] figure Moses – each of who succeeded or failed to lead change based on whether or not they were a dealer in hope. Robert Mattox prescribes how a leader can lead change and shape culture within their community or organization by creating a hopescape and harnessing the hope system – illustrated using a “hope diamond” metaphor (from coal to diamond process).

In my quest for knowledge Wikipedia let me see that HOPE is organized, of course according to them in many categories.

History of hope

Understanding hope

Measuring hope

In philosophy

As a literary concept




On the Wiki website I was also shown a picture of the Allegory of Hope painted by Francesco Giardi in 1747.  The History of Hope section took me to mythology and Pandora.

 Pandora opened the box after being warned not to, and those evils were released into the world; hope, which lay at the bottom of the box, remained.[13]

I especially liked Dr. Stout’s diagram.  I like pictures – think it is the child in me still.  It is a clear depiction of what could happen when the right circumstances come together.  I actually have seen this work in some of the volunteer organizations in which I have been involved.  I simply thought it was enthusiasm being shared and forwarded to action.  In the end according to the diagram it was hope in action.

I have ever said that I am the original cock-eyed optimist and sure enough on the wiki site there was a line about Hope and Optimism.

Hope versus optimism[edit]

The difference between hope and optimism: hope entails pathways and thoughts to an intended goal. Optimism leads one to “expect the best, but it does not necessarily provide any critical thinking about how we are going to arrive at this improved future”.[21]

For me I think I will opt for both in equal measure!!!



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