February 2014 – Hope
Daniel is a Victim Advocate for the South Salt Lake Police Department. His compassion and empathy have made him an essential asset to the department. Working in the front office, we often have victims of crime who come in and request to speak with victim advocates. They often need assistance with crime victim reparations and protective orders, but they also frequently just need someone to talk to. We have called Daniel when he is on his lunch break, buried with paperwork, or even on his way out the door at the end of his shift. He will put everything else aside to help whoever needs him. What is even more remarkable is that he maintains a positive and willing attitude. It doesn’t matter what we are interrupting, he is sincerely happy to have the opportunity to help. Daniel also lives in South Salt Lake, and we are sure that his willingness to help and ability to care extends to the entire community, including his neighbors and family.
Quotes about Hope:
“We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming – well, that’s like saying you can never change your fate.” -Amy Tan
“Hope is a waking dream.” -Aristotle
“One lives in the hope of becoming a memory.” -Antonio Porchia
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
“Walk on with hope in your heart,and you’ll never walk alone” -Shah Rukh Khan
Hope is a belief that regardless of the challenges you face, things will turn out for the best. Hope for a brighter future includes setting goals and taking action to accomplish them. Teach children about hope by setting a good example. A childlearnsby watching her parents and other influential adults in her life. If her parents are constantly fearful and worried about the future, chances are she will grow up the same way. As an adult, you should learn about and practice hope through positive thinking about your own life.
Read inspirational stories of hope to children such as “The Little Engine that Could.” Include true stories ofsuccessfulpeople who have overcome great obstacles such as Albert Einstein, Maya Angelou, and Abraham Lincoln.
Help children set goals that are realistic yet difficult to accomplish. For example, goals could be getting all A’s on her report card or saving up enough money to buy a video game. Assist the child in setting up an action plan to achieve the goal he set for himself. Brainstorm with him, but do not tell him how to do it. This encourages creative thinking on his part. He will be motivated towards success when he comes up on an action plan based on his own ideas and thoughts.
Tell your child that there will be challenges and setbacks along the way. Let her know that as long as she continues to utilize positive thinking and strive towards her goals that positive experiences can take place. Explain that the only failure is the one who quits, and if one way does not work then try another.
Keep your child motivated by encouraging him and telling him that you believe he can do it.
“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible” –Christopher Reeve
Harvesting Hope: The Cesar Chavez Story by Kathleen Krull
Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud
Ripple’s Effect by Shawn Achor
Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting
Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep by Joyce Dunbar
Imagine a Day by Rob Gonsalves
Hope in the Work Place
When hope is a problem, I think about Ernest Shackleton, a British explorer whose goodness was not of the sweetness and light variety.
His story comes to mind when I feel I’ve put myself in an impossible position and others are depending on me.
Shackleton’s story first inspired me when I was the editor of an obscure newspaper in a state most people can’t properly locate on the map: Idaho – not Iowa or Ohio – Idaho. The Post-Register was one of a very few employee-owned independent papers in the country. We competed with Clear Channel radio, three mid-sized television chains and neighboring papers that drew on the resources of conglomerate media companies. I spent 14 years there, hiring the smartest young people we could find and teaching them the discipline of verification, the power of multiple revisions and the habit of dogged public service.
About midway through my time in Idaho, the balance sheet made it clear I, along with other departments, had to cut my already-meager staff by almost a quarter. Despair swamped me. Only an investment banker far from your workplace believes you can do more with less. Every improvement we had worked for seemed to be at risk. It fell to me to dismantle the staff we had trained and recruited, most of whom I had invited into my home for brunches, dinners and cocktails. I knew their kids, the names of their dogs and even some of their parents.
I’m ashamed to say I was one of those managers who wasted time in self-pity. Why did I, big-hearted about tough love, have to be this particular bad guy? Luckily, though, as the crisis escalated, I visited the Seattle Museum of Natural History to see an Antarctic exploration exhibit. That led me to Alfred Lansing’s book, Endurance.
It’s the story of Ernest Shackleton’s cursed journey to Antarctica. His ship, Endurance, froze into the pack ice near the South Pole in 1914, was crushed to kindling and the crew had to abandon it and take their chances, living on the floating ice for five months.
Shackleton and his crew were alone and out of range of rescuers in a bitterly cold place about which almost nothing was known. All were there by choice. Most were experienced explorers, with useful skills and knowledge about the earth and sky.
But most important of all was their attitude and clarity. When the ship was wrecked, they used the salvageable pieces to build shelter and feed warming fires. When food ran short, they stopped feeding their sled dogs, killed them – and ate some of them.
Purpose bound Shackleton’s crew together: Bring everybody home alive; Keep gathering (and protecting) the photos and field observations that were the reason for the voyage.
Purpose enabled them to control their internal weather, not letting pack ice and other forces beyond their power extinguish hope. Certainly this required a strong leader. But with experience I’ve learned that a follower is leadership’s silent and crucial partner. Shackleton’s crew were intent on exploration, not merely on following Shackleton, so they made a success of whatever trouble they encountered.
They understood the necessity of fighting despair in themselves so as not to drag down their comrades, who would in turn buoy them up. Good humor proved contagious.
In the end, as we always must, they stuck together and rescued themselves.
A skillful team was selected to make an open-sea crossing in a tiny rowboat, navigating with a sextant (while underway on rough seas in dark weather) to the one island whaling outpost in the vast ocean wilderness at that end of the earth.
In five months shipwrecked on the ice, they did not lose a single member of the crew and they brought home invaluable photos and scientific data that thrill students of Antarctica a century later. For all of us, they brought home the example of skillful followers and leaders whose clarity made the best of every opportunity in a situation that is commonly viewed as hopeless.
In journalism, hope is in short supply. News leaders and their followers obsess over a mythic past, and heap coals on the heads of those who seek the way forward.
Maybe, facing a deadline, the crush of the holidays, or even a term paper, you feel hopeless today on a cheerless floe of ice on which you have stranded yourself.
I don’t think we should be tempted to believe we require circumstances as dramatic as Shackleton’s to muster our best selves, be we followers or leaders. The point is the near- featureless monotony of ice edits the story down to its essentials.
In hopeless moments at work, Endurance’s crew helps us remember we choose our dangers and that’s the first thing to remember when luck runs out.
Focusing on our mission the way Shackleton and his men did gives us the clarity to live the wisdom of the good books of many faiths: You can’t control circumstances, only your reaction to them.
At my newspaper, we never regained the staff we shed. But in the intervening years we did better work than in the years before, largely because of the way adversity focused our attention. That clarity is a skill I learned from Shackleton and the crew of Endurance.
It wasn’t the journey I expected, but having survived some bad weather, I wouldn’t give up the lessons learned. You must find your own way, which means you have to be clear about where you need to go. And if you’re too busy crying, you can’t carry out the duties you’ve trained for, such as reading a sextant in rough seas.
In the last four years, circumstance has forced me to move from coaching employees in a newsroom to teaching students in a university. My choice has been to move across the U.S. three times, from Idaho to Cambridge, Mass., back to Idaho and then east again, to the north shore of New York’s Long Island.
More than at any time in my life, I realize I have no idea what the world or even my life will look like in five years. But I am accumulating skills and knowledge and experience every day. I have the happy clarity of a person with a family to support and a mission in mind.
When hope is a problem, I think of hard-eyed Ernest Shackleton’s crew and I expect to work out a way through whatever storms may come.
Dean Miller, N.p. Web. 4 February 2014. <http://ivoh.org/value-hope/>.