When hope has to be real
“I heard two conversations on the radio this morning, which could not have come from more different sources”.
“What do you mean?” he asked, sipping on his latte.
“The first was from a prison inmate, who had been incarcerated for over 20 years. He was asked about his goals upon his soon release. So, he said he didn’t have much time left, at 60, but he wanted three things”.
“Wow! At 60, with no resources, many folks wouldn’t even try to have any goals or dreams”, Alan pondered.
“Right. But even so he listed three goals: (1) To become educated (he admitted he had no formal education to speak of), (2) And, to make something of himself, and (3) To find a meaningful female relationship”.
Alan cogitated on that for a minute.
“I’m impressed……there are many people who have given up on goals and dreams, even though in the race of life their handicap is way ahead of this guy”.
A breeze fluttered the canvas outside of the coffee shop.
“You said two conversations”, Alan reminded me. “What was the other one?”
“A successful entrepreneur from New York. He has been starting businesses all his life. His latest enterprise is a chain of restaurants called Melts, or something like that. They make soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. He got the idea after asking people what foods made them happy”.
“I love grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches, especially if they can add some sweet gherkins in there”, Alan said, his eyes brightening at the thought.
“Yes”, I replied. “But his last comment really touched me”.
“What was that?” Alan asked, leaning forward with interest.
“As an entrepreneur, he said you learn never to give up. You have to ignore all the ‘no’ rejections, and the ‘it won’t work’ judgements……you just stick with your dream and carry on”.
Two very different manifestations of that elusive life-quality: hope……one of the hallmarks of Christianity, emblazoned all through the four gospels. If we don’t have it we become flat or down with the blues or depressed.