Expecting or desiring something to happen is the basic tenet of hope. As a kid, you may have hoped for a special Christmas present; hoped the boy you had a crush on would notice you; or hoped to get a passing grade on a tough exam.

Hope seemed so simple then.

Hope is still a simple concept, but its power is much more compelling now. Hope is more than wishing, wanting or expecting something good for yourself. Hope is believing in a better experience for all; believing in the capacity of people to do more; believing a unified stand will make a difference.

It’s easy to lose hope in the midst of disease, strife, and unprecedented challenges. Therefore, one of the greatest responsibilities a leader must embrace is the desire and ability to instill a sense of hope… to keep hope alive. Doing so doesn’t require grand gestures, charismatic speeches, or dramatic overtures. Hope can be fueled in others when they experience a leader expressing H.O.P.E. — honesty, openness, purposefulness, and empathy. These are often experienced not in the grand, the charismatic and the dramatic. Rather, these are more often experienced in a quiet exchange or an authentic interaction.

  • Honesty – Truth is the foundation of HOPE. It must be the starting place upon which the rest is built. Honesty means admitting you don’t know. Honesty means being vulnerable. Honesty means sharing your own fears, lack of knowledge, and desires. Honesty leads to Openness.

  • Openness – Openness is the mindset of HOPE. It is a willingness to learn and admit other perspectives have value. It is the ability to put aside prejudice, preconceived ideas and predispositions. It means maybe you are not right, and being OK with that. Openness can lead to Purposefulness.

  • Purposefulness – Purposefulness is the behavior of HOPE. Purposefulness means acting with intention. Responding to situations and people in thoughtful ways rather than reacting without thinking. Purposefulness leads to Empathy.

  • Empathy – Empathy is the epitome of HOPE. Understanding and sharing the experience of another person is the very thing that fuels hope itself. To deeply and thoroughly grasp another’s fears. wishes, beliefs, challenges, and desires is what makes HOPE real.

I believe in H.O.P.E.

I hope you do, too, for the sake of our humanity.

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