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The Mystery of Hope

September 27, 2016

           I really enjoy curling up in bed at night and starting a new mystery novel. Add a violent thunderstorm to the experience, and that pleasure becomes a passion – especially if the dogs start to growl. The anticipation of hunting for clues and their meanings is such a thrill and challenge. I always hope I’m able to identify the culprit before the author tells me.

           Hope is a curious thing that fills – some could say rules – our daily lives.

           How many times a day do we hope for something? I hope my friend can join me for lunch. I hope I can attend the gallery opening. I hope the agent likes my book. I hope I can find the photo, that the meeting starts on time, traffic isn’t too bad, I make deadline, we get reservations, that he likes me.

           Scholars tell us the first known uses of hope date to before the 12th century. And, we’re told that in Christian thought there are three virtues: faith, hope and love. Quite simply, hope is always present.

However, for some, hope doesn’t seem to be within their reach.

           I read somewhere that once attained, hope becomes a possession. Unfortunately, like all possessions, it can be lost. When mired in depression, the understanding that a person is loved, needed and valued, and that their absence would profoundly impact others, can also be lost – just like the car keys, our jobs or place in line.

            What is hope exactly? Webster’s Dictionary tells us it’s the feeling of wanting something to happen and thinking it could.

            Depression doesn’t necessarily prevent the person from wanting something to happen – usually for peace and their pain to stop. Most often, they desperately want that, but the illness robs them of the belief, the hope, that what they need could actually happen.

            Desmond Tutu once said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.” Suicide & Crisis Center of North Texas, through its 24-hour crisis call center, education and training programs, provides care and compassion to those in need of help to find their way out of the darkness.

            Suicide is tragic, not shameful. If you need help, reach out. If you know someone you suspect may be in crisis, talk to them. The simple act of asking someone if they’re okay can literally mean the difference between life and death.

            I’m proud to be associated with this vital organization, and to help raise funds for the critical programs provided by Suicide & Crisis Center of North Texas. More than 1,500 calls a month are answered at the SCC call center, as well as some overflow calls from a national hotline. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, but every month must be.

           My hope is that those struggling with depression don’t close the book, but find the strength and support to turn the page and begin a new chapter in the unique story that is his or her life.

 

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