HOPEFULNESS

This too shall pass.

—(from multiple wisdom languages, but seemingly originating in Persian Sufi writings)

Faith may be a gift more than a choice, but we can always choose hopefulness.

Submit your personal story or favorite illustration, quote, Bible verse, etc. that illustrates a specific virtue to [email protected], then click on the virtue of your choice on the Virtues page to see your story or the stories and illustrations of others.

July 3, 2021

Hope would not be the virtue that it is if it led us to quick closure and we did not have to “wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:24-25).

July 16, 2021:

Author’s note: I love the following story that illustrates “hopefulness” and have re-told it many times. Other virtues also come to mind through this story; Perspective, Contentment, Equanimity, Sense of Wonder, Simplicity…

 There is a story about twin boys about five or six years old. Worried that the boys had developed extreme personalities — one was a total pessimist, the other a total optimist — their parents took them to a psychiatrist.

 

First the psychiatrist treated the pessimist. Trying to brighten his outlook, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with brand-new toys. But instead of yelping with delight, the little boy burst into tears. “What’s the matter?” the psychiatrist asked, baffled. “Don’t you want to play with any of the toys?” “Yes,” the little boy bawled, “but if I did I’d only break them.”

Next the psychiatrist treated the optimist. Trying to dampen his outlook, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure. But instead of wrinkling his nose in disgust, the optimist emitted just the yelp of delight the psychiatrist had been hoping to hear from his brother, the pessimist. Then he clambered to the top of the pile, dropped to his knees, and began gleefully digging out scoop after scoop with his bare hands. “What do you think you’re doing?” the psychiatrist asked, just as baffled by the optimist as he had been by the pessimist. “With all this manure,” the little boy replied, beaming, “there must be a pony in here somewhere!”