Contributed by: Matthew Rachmat


The world feels large sometimes, we can take a train, boat, or plane and go anywhere. Other times, the whole world can be at our fingertips with just one click, where we get hooked on an algorithm that feeds us polarizing material or information that confirms our bias. Powerless to do anything that will change the world. It can often feel chaotic or overwhelming. So at times, I try to focus on little things in my routine to take my mind off the many global issues facing us today – the environmental crisis, affordable housing, healthcare, the list goes on. It is no easy feat. With so many issues facing me, I join the many people in this world that feel like they’re drained of hope.

And so that’s why we have to talk about things like re-framing hope, because who would want to live in a world where people felt hopeless?

So what does re-framing hope look like?

It is a hard thing to answer for most people, but in simple terms, it involves the process of altering your focus to ensure that you maintain hope. The important thing is to find what works for you, even through trial and error, just don’t give up.

Hope is what drives people to keep on going, keep on finding the right way. If people are increasingly losing that hope, the right way will be lostSo if it involves helping people find out how they can reframe hope for themselves we need to help them.

I read another blog that inspired this post today by Denise Withers about how hope plays a role in leadership and storytelling. In the blog, she brings up a conversation between Samwise Gamgee and Frodo (Lord of the Rings), she says that “JR Tolkien (author) demonstrates perfectly the role of hope in storytelling…hope is the fuel that keeps every hero going. There is no story without it.” Then stating how the “leader can conceive, articulate and inspire hope, they’ll never be able to engage others in their journey.”

As someone who only watched the 1st hour of the extended edition of the first Lord of the Rings movie, I cannot help but think about some other influential characters in recent times that lead with hope, Superman and Luke Skywalker. Both are undeniable leaders that inspired the readers and characters alike, in worlds that seemed hopeless. I personally would not have been able to save the galaxy if I did not have hope, and what kind of person would want to help me defeat the empire if I didn’t have it?

To further understand the importance of hope, Gabriel Marcel’s Homo Viator tells us that it is a fundamental aspect of the human experience, helping us find meaning, truth, and self-discovery. The book suggests that hope serves as a guiding light, illuminating the path while providing motivation and courage, which helps us persevere through challenges and uncertainties. Further showing us that without hope, people have no purpose and direction. It also shares how it inspires both personal and collective growth.

For me, I remember when I worked retail, with many different supervisors coming and going, showing me how they lead during periods of mess and stress. Periods when things are busy, traffic is like getting on the Skytrain during rush hour, and clothes are everywhere like when candy falls out of a smashed piñata.

I did not realize it back then, but what made those moments more or less manageable were the leaders that guided us through them. When those who lead show helplessness, it spreads throughout the team making everyone feel stressed and hopeless. However, when the leader exudes hope, I can see it inspire others. When I moved into a recognized leadership position, I made sure I led with that. Hope.

Hope – the thing that brings people of different backgrounds and beliefs together.

Hope is important to society because it helps people flourish.

Why do I bring up flourishing? How do hope and flourishing relate? What is flourishing?

It’s simple, hope and flourishing relate because there needs to be hope before flourishing can begin. Flourishing is about living life to the fullest, but how can you do that if you don’t have hope? If someone feels hopeless, how can they have a fulfilling life? To get a better understanding of flourishing, we look into a piece from the Co-Author of “The Trampoline Effect,” where he goes more into detail about what flourishing means.

Director of Innovation, Gord Tulloch, discusses flourishing in the opening piece of the latest Imagine! newsletter called “So, How’s Your Flourishing Going?” Here he discusses how the world is both beautiful and challenging and how people often get caught up in daily routines failing to live life to the fullest. There is an importance in shifting attention and exploring what it means to live fully and flourish. Sense of belonging, self-determination, beauty, purpose, hope, creativity, reflection, learning, laughter, and love are elements that contribute to living fully.

I ask you to reflect on how you view hope and how it impacts your life. Think about how that relates to you living life to the fullest and flourishing. I don’t want to live in a world without hope. I think a world where people can flourish is possible. So help me achieve this goal by getting members of your community to reflect on what we discussed today. Whether that’s your friends, families, or loved ones, whoever you feel comfortable with, let’s discuss our relationship with hope and flourishing.

Other newsletters and publications can be found in the posAbilities publications page.