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\”Hope\”

Definition of the word of the week (HOPE): To wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment.

There is an old story that I assume is not authentic but it makes a good point nonetheless. The story tells of two frogs falling into a pail of milk. One frog tried to get out, realized the hopelessness of his situation and drowned. The other frog refused to quit and kept kicking and kicking trying to get out. Eventually, the milk curdled and then turned to butter and had enough consistency that the frog was able to leap from the pail. The moral of the story is to never lose hope and to persevere. Like the second frog, when life throws us a challenge, we need to keep our hope in the future, knuckle down, and keep slugging on.

It is not by coincidence but rather by design that during the cold and gloomy winter months we celebrate major religious holy days, the derivative of “holidays.” Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other celebrations all remind us that winter will not last and troubling times will not last either. The holidays are more than just time off from school or work, they are a time of family gatherings and a renewal of hope for what the future holds. Especially in America, we have much for which we should be thankful. We are blest to be living in that “shining city on the hill” that President Reagan envisioned and we offer the world hope for the future. Although America sometimes falls short, we strive to live up to President Lincoln’s dream of being “the last best hope of earth.”

During this holiday season, I hope that you will find lasting peace in your heart and I hope that peace spreads throughout the world. Author Allan Chalmers once observed “…a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world. Someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” May you and yours be blessed with all three.

The following quotations are intended to assist in explaining and exemplifying the word of the week:

We promise according to our hopes and perform according to our fears. Francois De La Rochefoucauld

There is nothing that fear and hope does not permit men to do. Marquis De Vauvenargues

Literature is where I go to explore the highest and lowest places in human society and in the human spirit, where I hope to find not absolute truth but the truth of the tale, of the imagination and of the heart. Salman Rushdie

No place affords a more striking conviction of the vanity of human hopes than a public library. Samuel Johnson

Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America. Dwight D. Eisenhower

I hate this shallow Americanism that hopes to get rich by credit, to get knowledge by raps on midnight tables, to learn the economy of the mind by phrenology, or skill without study, or mastery without apprenticeship. Ralph Waldo Emerson

To persevere, trusting in what hopes he has, is courage in a man. Euripedes

The first task of a leader is to keep hope alive. Joe Batten

A leader is a dealer in hope. Napoleon Bonaparte

The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions. A.W. Tozer

Of all ills that one endures, hope is a cheap and universal cure. Abraham Cowley

In faith and hope the world will disagree, but all mankind’s concern is charity. Alexander the Great

All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope. Alexandre Dumas

He who has health, has hope. And he who has hope, has everything. Arabian Proverb

Hope is a waking dream. Aristotle

Fear cannot be without hope nor hope without fear. Baruch Spinoza

I am prepared for the worst, but hope for the best. Benjamin Disraeli

In the factory we make cosmetics; in the store we sell hope. Charles Revlon

Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so indispensable, none so powerful, as hope. Without hope men are only half alive. With hope they dream and think and work. Charles Sawyer

Hope is the best part of our riches. Christian Nevell Bovee

Reconciliation should be accompanied by justice, otherwise it will not last. While we all hope for peace it should not be peace at any cost but peace based on principle, on justice. Corazon Aquino

Hope is the parent of faith. Cyrus Bartol

LTC Patrick Beer, the Dean of Students and Commandant of Cadets at Georgia Military College, prepares this study guide each week as part of the institution’s character education program. He welcomes comments and suggestions from readers. He can be contacted by phone, 478-445-2710 or by email, pbeer@gmc.cc.ga.us