Samara O'Shea

And the Greatest of these is . . . Hope

Have you ever been afraid to hope for something? Afraid to even entertain a possibility because the let down could be great? I have. In the past few years I’ve mastered the art of not hoping. What I’ll do is try for something—whether is be an article, a book, a man—and then once I’ve placed my number in the pot I’ll immediately start telling myself It’s not going to happen. It’s not going to happen. That way when it doesn’t happen I don’t have to deal with being disappointed. And, of course, if it does happen the elation is even greater (or so I tell myself).

I’m in a tough spot right now, and it’s making me think it’s time to change my method. There is a thing I want—really really want! It’s a grant. It is a sum of money that would enable me to take off for an entire year and be nothing but a writer. No part time jobs. No unfulfilling full time jobs. Just me and my novel. The application for this grant was due in early December. I dutifully turned it in. A few weeks later I received a post card saying that my application was received and is complete. This is a big deal because the application was meticulous and many things could have gone wrong. The other option was to receive the post card with the words “Your application has been received but there is a problem, please call us.”

The hard part is over. Whew! Now I wait until June to find out if I am one of the recipients. There are a lot of applicants I’m sure, and the odds are slim. But I can’t help but think the stars will align for me. Reading the eligibility requirements was a small feat in and of itself because I met every single one. I feel so hopeful right now, and I don’t want to turn it off. I’m realizing what an extraordinary emotion hope is. All the possibilities in the world reside inside of you for a period time.

I’m old enough to know that I won’t always get what I want. I’m wise enough to know not to put all of my eggs in this one basket. June is a ways away and I have plenty of other goals to distract me between now and then, but I’m not whispering to myself that it won’t happen. It might happen. It just might! And if it doesn’t then I’ll be disappointed. Disappointment is a small price to pay for diving head first into hope.

The title of this blog is a play on words from the Bible. The verse (from 1 Corinthians 13:13) reads as follows: And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. I’m certainly not suggesting we change the way that it’s written, but I think we should rotate the importance of the three. Some days love can be the greatest, other days faith, and this day (or this week I should say) hope. Hope is in the air on a personal level for many of us, and it’s certainly abound on the national level. I never thought I’d see a black man become president in my lifetime. What has been hoped for for a long time is coming to fruition. And our new president is about to lead us into the age of hope—hope for the vast improvement of our circumstance. Enjoy tomorrow. Hope away!