For relatability purposes, people often ask one another “are you an optimist or pessimist?”. In asking this question, people want to know if you respond to hope or not. And in finding out if you are full of hope or lacking in it, people can immediately recognise if you have faith or not. Faith here does not refer to religions or belief systems which people associate themselves with, but rather faith here refers to a more fundamental belief in life, in ourselves and in each other. Faith here refers to our capacity to believe in the collective Creative Potential which I refer to here as God.
Unlike hope, faith is belief that has matured. It is belief that is well-rooted in us. Hope, on the other hand, is a less ripe belief, one that is more shallow but as a result more accessible, more flexible and more dynamic, extending itself like a bridge between present and future. Hope is interactive belief, one that is constantly in communication with its environment and thus susceptible to change by time, people, events, and even mood. Faith, on the other hand, is unshakable. Like an old willow tree with roots so deep and so wide, it never moves but it is always there to offer its wisdom and guidance to you but you must approach it. You must go to it. So finding faith requires us to consciously seek it, and that is precisely where hope comes into play and acts as guide for our journey to find faith. Hope is the boat that keeps us afloat as we navigate the unknown seas of life. Hope reminds us to look forward. Hope is what pushes us to imagine what’s beyond the horizon because it invites us to imagine tomorrow. And if we can imagine tomorrow, it means that we can believe we will survive till tomorrow. Hope is what carries us through all the storms and hurricanes of our lives and back safely to the shores of faith. Hope is what helps us imagine a better tomorrow. Hope invites us to trust that God will help us. Hope reminds us of the possibility of our survival. And all the things that we hope for in crisis are simply calling for us to believe in them more deeply. Maybe crisis happens so that we are pushed into finding our beliefs once again, into finding a faith we have lost in ourselves. When we feel hope, we are choosing to feel our beliefs instead of reason with them. Hope reassures us that our beliefs don’t need to be rational or reasonable, they don’t need proof or precedent. Hope arising in crisis is a beautiful gift that shows us that we can still believe in ourselves even when there is no reason to, that we can believe in the world around us even when it pushes us away. Hope shows us that we can believe even when we might’ve forgotten how to believe. And what a gift that is — to be reminded that we know how to believe. That at some point our mind might’ve convinced us that belief is for people who lack the capacity to think for themselves and persuaded us to abandon our heart. Hope reminds us once again of the power we hold in our heart. It reminds us that not all knowing can be reasoned or explained, that it is enough just to feel, that feeling a truth is more important than thinking it. I believe that god represents our capacity to believe. And the more we believe in god, the more we believe that we can believe. And the more we believe we can believe, the more power our beliefs have. So hope reminds us of this capacity we have to believe. It guides us to our own god i.e. to our own capacity to believe. In a way, hope is the best messenger god has ever had, for there is nothing that communicates in the language of beliefs better and more consistently than hope.