We often think of hope in a general sense. We hope our team wins the game. We hope we get to meet our favorite musicians one day. We hope we get what’s on our Christmas lists. But now, scientists are discovering that hope may be more vital and quantifiable than we thought.
Multiple studies have shown that hope is both a necessity for mental health and an important defense mechanism against mental ailments and daily stress. That means that hope isn’t just a feeling; in many ways, it acts as our mental immune system. Matthew Gallagher, a clinical psychology expert at the University of Houston, summarized, “It’s a resource that even people who are facing all kinds of obstacles are able to maintain and are able to rely on to cope with different kinds of stressors.”
Experts also believe that we may need to rethink our vocabulary. Oftentimes, we use the word “hope” passively. “Just hope for the best,” we say, when what we really mean is wish for the best. Wishing is a passive desire for something to happen to us. Hoping is based in purpose. Hope is active and empowering. Hope leads to a better tomorrow.
“Hope is not a wish. Hope is about taking action to achieve goals,” Chan Hellman, Founding Director of Hope Research Center claims. “… It’s identifying how to get there from here and how to motivate people to do that work. That’s the essence of hope.”
And, if you have hope, give hope. Convoy of Hope was founded on the idea that everyone can do something to help. We are not in the business of fabricating feelings; we aim to change lives. We believe that, with the help of people like you, we can give others ample cause to hope — not just to wish for a better future, but to truly have hope that tomorrow will be better than yesterday.