How to Instill Hope in Others

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Hope according to Oxford Advanced learner’s Dictionary is defined as to want something to happen and think it is possible. Also, it is a belief that something you want will happen.

Hope is different from wishful thinking. Hope is a firm belief something will happen or is possible. This is when a person desires for something with an expectation he will receive it. For example, when a person believes it is possible to travel around the world in sixty days, then in his mind he has made a firm decision it is going to be accomplished.

On the other hand, wishful-thinking mostly depends on the word ‘if.’ Example: “I wish one day I will be become a billionaire.” This signifies it is mere thinking. The person is not sure if it will be possible to be a millionaire. There is no real expectation. It depends on probability that it might happen.

When someone hopes for something he will do all he can to realize the expectation of what he desires. There is action that is involved because hope goes close-in-hand with faith. You need to have hope in order to have faith. In the case of wishful thinking there is no expectation because it is not fully founded and nothing is done to realize what is desired. If you desire or want to be the next president and do nothing to realize your desire, only think, then it is purely wishful-thinking.

Hope in itself has enabled many people to defeat the odds to become successful in life. A good example is of the former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. Even after being jailed for 27 years, Mandela never gave up the hope he had that there will come a day when equality between the whites and blacks would exist. He was instrumental in ending apartheid and being elected the first president of South Africa.

People go through different problems, calamities, sufferings, pains, challenges leading to stress, depression to the point the person has given up any more trying and is fed up with life. The reason why some end up in committing suicide. Each and every person is faced by a particular problem which to some might not be big but to the person experiencing it, the problem is big. Each person reacts differently to the problems he/she faces. It is not good to judge people they should grow up and stop behaving like cowards.

Steps to Instill Hope in Others

There are three steps a person can make us of to instill hope in another person. Because when hope is ignited, it leads to renewal of energy and produces the fruit of patience enabling the person going through a specific challenge to have a new and clear perspective and it enables the person to have courage to overcome what is ailing him.

Step One - Listen

The first step in instilling hope in another person is by lending an ear – listening. Before uttering words of encouragement, first listen. Even if you know what the person is going through, take time to listen from their lips how it feels for that person going through that challenge and how it affects the person. It will be realized in most cases people want someone to listen to them. This is because they want to release the burden weighing heavily on their shoulders (hearts). Listening is an effective tool in instilling hope especially when it comes to people who are depressed and/or contemplating suicide. Listening helps in lightening the burden from their shoulders. This makes them relax even if it is a little bit.

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Step Two – Understand

Don’t criticize, pass unfair judgment or rebuke if you have not taken time to listen. This is because from listening you will be able to understand why the person wants to commit suicide, what it feels to lose a loved one or failing in examination. It is from listening patiently that will enable you to understand if the person has low self-esteem, and it will facilitate you to put the person’s situation in your shoes and get to know how it feels. You have to sympathize and empathize.

Therefore, understanding is the second tool a person can use in order to instill hope. A lot of people who are depressed and are contemplating suicide, before they do the act they want someone to listen to them with an intent the person they are talking to will try to understand them and help them. Unfortunately, many do not take time to listen to the end, and if they did, do not take time to understand them. At the end, the person commits suicide because nobody took the time to try to understand him/her.

It is not fair because you conquered the problems or challenges you faced, you expect other people to conquer the same way. We are all different with different personalities. Calling them coward because they are contemplating suicide will not help in the long run.

Step Three – Encouragement and Action

Lastly, encouragement is the other tool a person can use to instill hope. This results from a person listening and trying to understand what the other person is going through enabling him/her to be in a better position to help the person. The words you say should be uttered in love and kindness. Remember, words have power for they can lead to ‘murder.’ When you kill someone’s soul by the words you said it can eventually lead to thought of contemplating suicide. It can make them feel useless and total failures, speeding up their wanting to commit suicide. Be careful and wise with the words you use.

At this stage you should be able to know which words to say and/or what actions to take. Encouragement is one of the actions to take. Uplifting their spirits and motivating them make them to believe it is possible to defeat the problem they are undergoing. You enable them to have a clear perspective or a new one and you can guide them on how to solve what they are undergoing.

Song: You Raise Me Up

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Comments 2 comments

Ben716 profile image

Ben716 3 years ago from Kenya Author

Thank you freedomspirit. God Bless you too and for the work you are doing. We do need encouragement as life at times is not always joyful and happy. Its good reading such articles as they inspire and renew ones hope in this life. Thanx.


freedomspirit 4 years ago

Very wise words ben, you are a good man and thank you very much for your insightful comments on my hub about spirituality.

It is very important to be a good person and listening is one of the kindest things one can do, you are right.

It's wrong to walk away if you can be of help----

empathy is such a beautiful thing too

God bless,

blessings,

freedomspirit

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