Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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January 8, 2013

JACKIE DAVIS: Finding hope in 2013

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — It’s here — 2013, a brand new year!!! So many people around the world look for a fresh new start in a brand new year! The world didn’t end with the Mayan calendar. Our nation survived the threat of a “fiscal cliff,” millions of people began their New Year’s diet plan on January 1, and countless people around the globe resolved to ‘‘do better’ in 2013.

There is something about the turn of the calendar that fills our hearts with hope and anticipation for brighter days in the New Year. According the New Oxford American Dictionary, hope is defined as “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” Each new year, we somehow find a way to “hope for the best” or “hope against hope” in challenging circumstances. The saying “hope springs eternal” reminds us that there is always a reason to be optimistic, if we are willing to have hope. 

Life goals, family plans, educational and career aspirations, dreams for the future, fitness programs — would all be futile without hope. Life becomes more worth living if we have hope for each day, each month, each new year.

There are countless stories around the world of people who survived accidents, illnesses and crisis because they had hopes of being discovered, cured or rescued. It’s even been said that human beings can live for days without food, but in extreme circumstances, they can’t live without hope. 

Carol Farran is an expert on eldercare for Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and as part of her patient observation and research, she wrote that “the hopeful person looks at reality, and then arrives at solutions. If a hoped-for outcome became impossible, the hopeful person would find something else to hope.”

Research experts Dr. Joseph Nowinski and Dr. Barbara Okun have defined “psychological resilience” as an outlook on life that is synonymous with hope: “a belief that life has meaning a belief that crises are a normal part of life and should be expected ... People with resilient outlooks (hope) are less vulnerable to physical and emotional illness.”

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