Hope persists

Hope is not ignorant of current events, nor phased by pandemic. Hope understands the social climate of anger and distrust that citizens have against the government and many levels of political leadership. And it carries on.


It won’t take long for any reader that is new to my work to recognize that Hope is a very important topic for me. Even if I don’t write about it overtly, the threads of hope are obviously woven into the fabric of my words.

When I’m quizzed why Hope is so important to me, it is because I know what it’s like to be in a place without it. Having lived through business failure, personal bankruptcy, and the recent death of my spouse, I’m very familiar with what it feels like to run out of it.

But I don’t like to think of Hope as a commodity that can suffer a shortage of supply. Hope is far more abundant and regal than that.  Instead, I like to think of her as an actual person.

I’m not sure when we first met, but she assures me she has known me my entire life. She’s acutely aware of everything that has happened to me, especially all my recent adversity and hardship. And those are the sections where she seems to be most persistent, inviting me into closer intimacy with her.

It’s clear she’s crazy about me, although there have been many times over the years when I wouldn’t believe she was even real and I didn’t want to have anything to do with her.

She’s not ignorant of current events. She is not phased by the pandemic. She understands the social climate of anger and distrust that citizens have against the government and many levels of political leadership.

Hope is the strongest force of human existence. This is because she is boundless in her abilities. There is no limitation on what she can accomplish.

I recall vividly, when I was six years old, watching Hope put Neil Armstong on the Moon. And I’m still in awe as I sit in my backyard and watch the steady trajectory of the glowing orb that is known as the ISS, the International Space Station.

I can’t help wondering where Hope wants to fling the next generation of exploration.

Hope led the charge of the Allied nations to stop Hitler’s unspeakable acts of horror. She won’t back down from a fight, especially when things get hard. She liberates the oppressed and inspires the fight for freedom.

Hope is fierce. But she’s not so busy that she can’t join in to help me read to my kids at bedtime.

Hope has an amazing pedigree. If these are the kinds of things she can accomplish, I think she might know what to do with my bankruptcy.

It’s more than semantics. It’s critical for me to envision my relationship with hope as I would a person. That’s how I’ve gotten through it.

Hope isn’t a fond idea. She is a force to be reckoned with. And I will never be widowed from hope.

writer, entrepreneur, and chef-curator of The Portico Experience, Kevin Shinn is a thought leader in Lincoln’s cultural, economic, and civic life. For more Civic Nebraska Writers Group columns, click here.

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