- Being joyfully surprised to receive a letter in the mail from a friend who has relocated to another (warm and breathtakingly beautiful) state and being reminded that this special friend has been very instrumental in the pathway that has led to this quest for what Hope Is. Hope Is how circles come back around, and though we are no longer in the same place, we have certain stair steps that will forever hold an imprint as one of the best steps we took. (Thank YOU, my friend, for being one of those steps!)
As a reminder, feel free to send what Hope Is to you at:
P.O. Box 327
Gobles, MI 49055
ATTN: Hope Is
37.85924° N, -122.48859° E
Recently I read a speech by Paul Hawken, environmentalist, entrepreneur, author, economist, and activist shared by Neil Pasricha. The speech was titled You are Brilliant, and the Earth is Hiring.
Near the end of his speech, Paul said hope only makes sense when it doesn’t make sense to be hopeful.
That dance of grace between opposites I periodically write about.
To fully know the essence of joy, for example, we appreciate joy at the deepest level when we’ve also known a struggle in being sad. We celebrate crossing a finish line or completing a test and we especially celebrate when we’ve trained or studied with a little bit of nervousness or felt uncertain if we would do well. Because we knew doubt, we especially hi-five ourselves when we accomplished the end goal.
Making sense most
When we question why we should keep feeling hopeful.
Nearing thirty years later, I still hear a friend’s words of wisdom make it matter that it happened.
His words spoken to me at a time I questioned Why? to a tragedy I had heard about. A time when I questioned what is hopeful about loss.
If I chose to increase my awareness and make a positive change, I would give purpose to what I wish had not happened for the sake of those now deeply grieving.
Make it matter that it happened.
I think about what first drew me to writing Hope Has a Cold Nose. To learn that twenty-two lives per day lost hope. I think about sitting at the top of Mount Adams nearly two years after HHCN was first published, tears flowing down my cheeks because I was up there not only for the stories in the book, and not only for the stories I had yet to hear. I was up there for the stories I would not have the opportunity to hear.
Because the last moments before that right dash would be engraved on a headstone
were lived without hope.
If I didn’t learn of a staggering number of twenty-two per day that challenges hearts to feel hope-full
I might not have had the opportunity to lean very hard the other way and
Make it matter that it happened.
To play some small part in ensuring
There IS always hope.
42.76698° N, 12.493823° E
A Cold Nose
For those of you who followed my weekly social media post “Ripples and Starfish”, you will be familiar with Dog Save the People podcast and the weekly inspirational messages I extracted.
Lynne Cox, the open water swimmer of the English Channel, and International Swimming Hall of Famer for her over 50,000 miles she has swam shared her experiences learning about water rescue dogs. Newfoundlands, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and Leonbergers.
Lynne first learned of Newfoundlands that would leap out of helicopters and swim to people. As she explored further, her path was led to Scuola Italiana Cani da Salvataggio, or The Italian School of Rescue Dogs.
Lynne shared how dogs are trained to circle the person in the water first, make eye contact with the person, watch and observe the person, and if the person does not seem afraid of dogs, come in close so that the person can grab the rescue handle and be pulled to safety.
These rescue teams (dogs and their owners) work in conjunction with the Italian Coast Guard and Italian Airforce and can be seen patrolling beaches all over Italy and can also be seen on beaches in Germany and Switzerland. Some training is also beginning to take place in the U.S. and in Canada.
Newfoundlands can pull up to six people in distress at one time. The other breeds can pull two to three people at one time.
Lynne wrote a book about one particular water rescue dog. Tales of Al.
If you want to learn more, Lynne recommends searching online for “Italian Water Rescue Dogs”. And then enjoy all that you can learn!
42.38337° N, -85.95741° E
Hope’s Spiral Staircase
N ° S ° E ° W °
Hope Whispers, Nature Speaks
Your reflective assignment is this. Take a walk outside and observe.
Where might you see an image of hope where it might otherwise seem improbable or nearly impossible?
Everything that is done in the world is done by hope. Martin Luther
If you have enjoyed this month’s message, please pay it forward to others. They can also subscribe to future emails by visiting www.christinehassing.com. If you know of someone who has a Hope Is message to share, please encourage them to share via the post office address (or via email). I welcome sharing their input on the Hope Is website or in future blog messages!