Here’s a small, but really valuable, thing I’ve learnt about supporting people.
People ask me what I consider to be the biggest thing you can provide someone you’re supporting. Beyond anything else, I believe it is something that will keep them going when all they can feel is darkness and despair; no way forward. In my experience the one thing above all else that a Supporter of people can do to keep them moving forward is this. A sense of HOPE! This is the context in which I want to discuss hope.
I’m thinking how often we use the word ‘hope’ in everyday life. When I write or talk to people I will be saying “I hope things are going well, I hope the family are well, I hope to see you soon, …” It is a common easily dispensed word, but one that drives people to extreme measures. It is belief, in the absence of certainty. Faith in ourselves now, and hope for the future.
“The most universal thing is hope, for hope stays with those who have nothing else.” – Epictetus
Whether you are offering support as a friend, parent, boss, mentor or personal or business coach it is so important that a sense of hope is maintained because that means they have faith in themselves, and there is something to persevere toward. Whether they are in a desperate situation personally or striving to achieve a difficult goal, a sense of hope is so important.
It doesn’t matter what they’re striving for, the sense that everything will be ok is vital. That is the thing that will get them to take one more step – and that is all they need. One step. Consider the next step after that.
I love the movie “The Shawshank Redemption” and the classic line from Red (Morgan Freeman) “Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.” When he talks to fellow lifer Andy (Tim Robbins) about life. Yes, hope is the dangerous thing that keeps people moving. Andy, elsewhere in the movie comments something along the lines “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best thing, and no good thing ever dies”. Love it. Great movie about hope.
“Hope. It won’t get you there, but will provide light for the journey.”
What is Hope?
For me hope represents the glimmer of light … possibly a glimmer so dim it is imperceptible. It may be something that may be so insignificant that it is seemingly irrelevant. It is a glimmer you feel rather than see. Hope is the thing that becomes important when even belief has deserted you – in times of need. Hope is what keeps you persevering when you want to give up. Hope is based on faith. It is the absence of any demonstrable evidence of a positive outcome – but a belief that something better is possible. It is where possibilities live. We live in hope of these possibilities and something better. It is said that the roads to hope are both despair and delight. We journey not knowing which road we are on – because of our hope.
“In reality, hope is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs man’s torments.” – Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human, 1878
Yes, there are two sides to hope – and perhaps it is only wisdom through learning and experience that will save us from our own insanity. Your role as a committed supporter is vital.
This is a key thing to understand. Hope is not a real, visible, tangible thing. The glimmer may be there, but only apparent if your mind is in a position to feel it. Wrong attitude and hope is gone. Different people can be in the same position and some feel hope – others can’t. This is a key job of the supporter – attitude to maintain faith and to feel hope.
“Hope never abandons you, you abandon it.” – George Weinberg
Please share your thoughts on hope and how it has worked for you.
In the next article I want to briefly explore how to give hope when you’re supporting someone.
At EKO we know that providing support to people can be challenging. Because of this we’ve a series of informational newsletters which we believe will be of value to you – for you, and in your service to others. Sign up today if you haven’t already, and please share with others too.
At EKO we believe no one should be alone in their journey – whether they are seeking support or supporting others.
Until next time,