I started this blog to be helpful. I started this blog to share money tips, helping others save and earn. I started this blog when I was in college, and didn’t have a day job. Dollar signs seemed like the solution to all of my problems.
Recently, I’ve come to a realization. Sure, money can solve problems. But it’s not the paper itself that makes life easier to live. It’s what’s behind that paper. It’s the belief that we can do better for ourselves. It’s the belief that the stressors in our lives will find relief. It is hope.
If you’ve ever judged that someone just needed to work harder, try harder, do more to improve their circumstances, I would argue with you. These things help, and may be a necessary component, but they are not the only component in success. A lot of “success” is opportunity. A lot of opportunity is currently come upon by luck. Luck that you were born in the right place to get to know the right people. Luck that you struck the right chord at the right time. Luck that the part of society you were raised in helped you learn cultural norms that nearly guaranteed success if you were willing to put in the hard work.
But society isn’t one dimensional. There are also people who come from a place where hard work often goes unrewarded. Where even the greatest ideas aren’t realized because the proximity to opportunity is distant at best. One where waves of doubt crash in on hope, attempting to erode away at it until it morphs into despair.
And this is why hope is so powerful. This is why hope is so critical. This is why hope is the most valuable commodity. Without it, we can succumb to despair.
Even if empathy for the sake of itself is a lost cause, the betterment of the world would dictate that instilling hope in all those around us is better for our societies and therefore ourselves as we live and function within those societies. It should not come from a place of insincere patronization, but an honest desire to make the world a better place for everyone that lives in it, ourselves included.
How do we instill hope?
Money can be a vehicle to help us reach our goals. I try to write about things you can do, scholarships you can apply to, and programs you can seek out in order to help spread financial hope, because I’ve been in a place where doubt threatened to take it away from me before. Thankfully the attempts were unsuccessful. Awareness of rarely-discussed opportunities saved it for me.
Financial generosity can help spread hope through charitable organizations and individual acts, if done correctly. Not making blanket judgments of others that are not of your socioeconomic class can go a long way towards opening the door to your own, sincere empathy, allowing you to relate as a human being and spread the valuable commodity further. Removing those judgments could also go a long way to closing the door on tensions felt between social classes, moving opportunity closer to all those who work hard and have great ideas which would benefit us as a whole.
Money isn’t the only way to find hope. A lot of our needs as human beings are social. Some of us are born with great talents for relating to others, for fitting in. Some of us are not. Be kind. Get to know people. Learn to love them. Build the social ties that we need to feel good about our present and future. Build relationships both parties can look forward to enjoying for years to come. Not for financial benefit. But for the two-way street that is brotherly love for another human being.
My list is by no means exhaustive, and this is where I need your help. How do you spread hope in the world around you? Or in what ways could we look at increasing the amount that exists in our world? I don’t feel it’s a finite resource. I feel it’s one that we can exponentially resupply.
You’re amazing, FF. Thanks for this uplifting post.
I use to volunteer as a mentor for kids from low-income families. Some of them had big aspirations for their lives, while some felt hopeless and almost angry at the world. They didn’t care about school because they felt they would never amount to anything anyways so why try? What they really needed was someone to believe in them. When you feel important and that your life matters to someone (even a total stranger), it gives you a sense of hope that you can be or do anything you want in life just because one person believes that you can.
Thanks, Christine! You’re pretty amazing, too! Becoming a mentor is such a great way to spread hope. I think knowing someone is invested in you and that you have a cheerleader can be so life changing.
Oh my! What a powerful post, Femme! I loved everything about it. Money is not everything, it doesn’t solve a lot of things. How I spread hope to other is by cheering them, being the optimistic one, being the one that will encourage them and give them hope. I am the cheerleader and the buddy that will be there.
We grew up in the city, I know all about being judge, I was lucky to meet kind people who encouraged me and gave me hope. That’s why I help without expecting in return. I think if I can help someone I’m good.
Thanks again for this post. I think is one of the best ones.
That’s an awesome way to do it, Joyce! I’m so glad those people came into your life, and it’s so cool that you’re doing the same for those around you. Thank you for your kind words.
We’ve been lucky to have a lot of opportunities in our life, so we’re filled with a lot of hope. I truly believe that I can achieve anything I want to (but I’m pretty lazy, so I write off wanting most things that I’d have to work my butt off to achieve). Hopefully I’m sharing hope by example and with my blog.
Lol love that perspective! I think there’s something to be said about contentedness; ambition is only a good thing if we can realize and appreciate our achievements. Otherwise it can turn into a consuming force for the ill.
Wonderful post, Ms. Femme. Spreading hope and kindness is something we should aspire to every day, not just during the holiday season. Great message! 🙂
At the stage of life I’m in, I try to spread it around the holiday season, but I’m so frazzled that time of year I’m not sure I do the best job. The other 11 months are my time to shine! :p
This was magnificent. I don’t know how I could spread hope on a large scale but in my own world it would be sharing my story. Life could have gone either way for me and I am grateful for the direction it took. Some is plain old fate and some is making the ‘right’ decisions.
Great points in this post. Sometimes circumstances are so hard to circumvent. And we don’t get to chose which side of the fence we are born on.
Thank you for this read. It spoke to me.
Ms. S! How I’ve missed you! I’m so glad it went the right way for you, and I think sharing hope in our own world is a noble pursuit. Sharing on a large scale is wonderful, but the intimate connections we make with smaller “audiences,” if you will, may be more profound.
I really needed to read this right now. Although I would not compare my situation to someone who is lacking very basic needs, I’ve been feeling major frustration lately, and a lot of it surrounds lack of money to do things I want to do. Not like fancy vacations or nice clothes, but projects I want to accomplish. Things that that could help sustain my career. But although I’m frustrated at this moment, I do have hope that there will be a good reason I’m putting all this hard (free) work in! 🙂 Thank you!
I hear you on that. Sometimes the grind can wear that hope away, too. It can be really rough to put in all that work and hope that the results are worth it and don’t wait too long to show up. But your videos are GREAT. And you are HILARIOUS. Seriously. You’re going places, Tonya!
Great post! I agree that money is not the only way to spread hope. We can do this through support, encouragement, offering resources and so much more. Opportunity plays a big role in someone’s level of hope as well. Such a valuable lesson!
Couldn’t agree more, Chonce! And thank you!!!
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