If you can look at the sunset and smile, and find beauty in the colours of a small flower, then you still have hope.
If you can find pleasure in the movement of a butterfly, and if the smile of a child can still warm your heart, then you still have hope.
If you can see the good in other people, and if the rain breaking on a roof top can still lull you to sleep, then you still have hope.
If the sight of a rainbow still makes you stop and stare in wonder, and if the soft fur of a favoured pet still feels pleasant under your fingertips, then you still have hope.
If you meet new people with a trace of excitement and optimism, and if you give people the benefit of the doubt, then you still have hope.
If you still offer your hand in friendship to others that have touched your life, and if receiving an unexpected card or letter still brings a pleasant surprise, then you still have hope.
If the suffering of others still fills you with pain and frustration, and if you refuse to let a friendship die, or accept that it must end, then you still have hope.
If you look forward to a time or place of quiet and reflection, and if you still watch love stories or want the endings to be happy, then you still have hope.
If you can look to the past and smile, and when faced with the bad, when told everything is futile, you can still look up and end the conversation with the phrase ... 'yes, but ....' Then you still have hope.
Hope is such a marvellous thing. It bends, it twists, it sometimes hides, but rarely does it break. It sustains us when nothing else can. It gives us reason to continue and courage to move ahead, when we tell ourselves we'd rather give in.
Hope puts a smile on our face when the heart cannot manage. Hope puts our feet on the path when our eyes cannot see it. Hope moves us to act when our souls are confused of the direction.
Hope is a wonderful thing, something to be cherished and nurtured and something that will refresh us in return. It can be found in each of us and it can bring light into the darkest of places. So never lose hope.
This story appeared in InspirEmail No 90 - July 31, 2006