“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
— Rachel Carson
Every spring, I start getting a little antsy. I want to SEE more, GO places, and DO things. It’s like my body has begun generating more electricity but my brain hasn’t figured out yet where to channel the additional energy.
I used to call this feeling Spring Fever. Now I call it Hope.
“I used to think hope was just a warm, vague feeling. It was that sense of excitement that I got before Christmas when I was a child. It lingered a while and then disappeared,” writes author and Gallup senior scientist Shane J. Lopez, Ph.D, in his book Making Hope Happen: Create the Future You Want for Yourself and Others.
Today, Lopez has a different perspective. He views hope like oxygen. “We can’t live without hope.”
Why is hope so important?
According to Lopez, “When we’re excited about ‘what’s next,’ we invest more in our daily life, and we can see beyond current challenges.”
Hopeful people share four core beliefs:
- The future will be better than the present.
- I have the power to make it so.
- There are many paths to my goals.
- None of them is free of obstacles.
Hope includes a range of emotions, such as joy, awe and excitement. But it’s not empty, tunnel-vision enthusiasm. Hope is a combination of your head and heart, Lopez writes. He describes hope as “the golden mean between euphoria and fear. It is a feeling where transcendence meets reason and caution meets passion.”
In his extensive research, Lopez learned that only 50% of people measure high in hope. But he also found that hope can be learned.
And that gives me hope.
In our April issue, every one of our contributors shared stories about hope, even one that is heart-wrenching.
- Find Our Missing: Evan’s Hope by VanDella Menifee and her co-contributors Sonia Morales and Tiffany Michaelle tells the heartbreaking story of 19-year-old Evan Lacey of Arlington who went missing in 2019…and how a community of activists continue to work in Evan’s name for hope and justice.
- The Curtain Rises on a New Era at Theatre Arlington is all about hope found in new beginnings! Through my interview with our good friends at Theatre Arlington, I discovered it’s also about creating a more inclusive space for self-exploration and building community on and off stage.
- Big ideas for building community can come in adorably small packages. You’re going to love this multi-media exploration of Arlington’s Little Free Libraries by Peggy Semingson.
- “Expect the unexpected in a good way.” If that isn’t hope, what is? Discover that and other affirmations in Ode to the Beach: Top Life Lessons from the Surf & Sand by Lisa Farrimond.
- Planting Seeds and Harvesting Hope by Kendall Quirk takes you inside the ongoing evolution of the Harvesting Hope Community Garden at First Christian Church Arlington.
- Where there’s kindness, hope can flourish. Shout out to the Arlington Public Library to their month-long initiative, The Kindness Project and Community Care Fair. Through a common reading platform, programming, coffee chats, and new Community Care Fair, they aim to spark all aspects of kindness in our community.
- Opening day of a new business is all about hope. Photo essay The Line Forms Here: Ricky’s Hot Chicken Grand Opening by UTA senior Ritchie Manalastas comes to you from Sociability’s ongoing partnership with Dr. Erika Pribanic-Smith, Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Texas at Arlington, and members of her Spring 2022 digital storytelling class.
As we build our Do Gooders Directory (launching later this year), we continue to be inspired by all the do-gooding taking place in our community! So while our Directory is under construction, we’re going to start featuring “projects of the month” so you can jump in now and do some good. April’s Project(s) of the Month are brought to you by the Junior League of Arlington and include the Glass Slipper Boutique on April 2 and the Texas Trash-Off on April 9. Sign up today!
Tell us about your Do Gooders opportunities in Arlington, Pantego and Dalworthington Gardens by signing up here for our Do Gooders Directory.
PsychCentral, The Psychology of Hope, psychcentral.com/blog/the-psychology-of-hope#1