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a spreader of hope

11/18/2021 08:42:32 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

When I think about what is the thing most lacking in people’s lives, despite when some might consider the potential of a lengthy list, my answer is “hope”. When we have hope, then seemingly impossible things can happen. When we are without hope, when things seem hopeless, it is less likely that they will come true. A belief in miracles exists because we have hope. A belief that one’s situation will improve is due to hope. A belief during baseball training camp that the team will win the World Series is based upon hope. Yet we seem to be on a seesaw, sometimes closer to hope, sometimes further away. How do we acquire hope?

It cannot be purchased on-line or in any store, although you can purchase the word “hope” in many places, especially this time of year. But just owning the word art does not mean that you have “hope”, although it might be a very good place to start. Imagine seeing the word every day. The word might be a sort of subliminal suggestion, moving you towards being hopeful. But that still does not actually imbue you with hope.

I wonder if the path towards hope is not for us to initially acquire, but to bestow on others. By helping a fellow human being in their time of need, you might restore their hope in humanity. The deeds that we perform on a daily basis can give others hope, even if we do not possess it yet ourselves. Permit me to share from my own experiences, and how I came by hope.

In the days, weeks, and months after the 10.27 massacre in Tree of Life, I received all forms of communication and goodness from people all across the globe, the vast majority of them strangers. For strangers to do so reassured me that the vast majority of humanity are good, decent people. And that gave me hope. Hope that there is a better way. Hope that goodness is out there. Hope that we can find the right ways to unite to eliminate evil. The showering of compassion and love infused me with hope, which I must admit was badly needed by me, and so many others, at that time. While I do not know if everyone who communicated with me had hope, the sheer volume gave me hope. And I think that is the secret of hope: you may not feel it yourself, but somewhere deep inside us, we humans have the capacity to find it and share it with others.

At this time when there seems to be a paucity of hope, I encourage you to be a spreader of hope, by doing good things to help others, thus reassuring them that there is hope. We read in “An Essay on Man” by Alexander Pope that “hope springs eternal”, and I am one of those who believe that to be true. You can read the entire essay here:

The simple answer to what seems to be a difficult question only works if you are part of the solution by spreading hope to those in need. Since we never know who needs what, then apparently we must spread hope to all humanity. Will you be a spreader of hope?

Sun, May 22 2022 21 Iyyar 5782