The Key to Unlocking the Doors of Magic
Hope structures our ways of negotiating the ongoing circumstances. Having a mighty hope also awards unending positivity regarding a successful future and optimistic vision which, in turn, seeds a resilient and versatile nature that assures one that one will pass through the tough time. It creates an aura around the individuals that keeps them away from disappointment, and makes them struggle more to achieve success in their lives. In our subconscious mind, hope is a deep sense of hidden belief that turns defeat into victory, nobody into somebody, a vision into reality and an experiment into an invention. Quoting Laini Taylor, “Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe, there is no actual magic in it, but when you know and what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen almost like magic.”
The effect of hope can be explained in medical terms by using clinical drug trials as an example. In these trials, a medication is compared with inactive substance called ‘placebo’ having same physical makeup as that of the actual medication. More concern is that when, in clinical trials, placebo is engineered to produce side effects, causing those who take it to believe that they are on actual medication and that it has produced the same effect as medicine itself because it has fulfilled the psychological need of that person. Recent studies of antidepressants doubt their efficacy when compared to placebo in double-blind, randomized clinical trial. In overview of this study, here, rather than referring to inactive substances as placebo, they should instead be called “hope.” Giving hope to a person that everything will be alright with medication, and treating him mentally rather than producing any pharmacological effect, a placebo has proved that effect of hope on any person is logical and rational. So, here hope again has potency to do magic without actually treating a person.
The question here is: how one can water the little plant of hope to grow it into a big green tree, the shadow of which can block the harsh rays of burning stress? The answer is: hope can be grown by celebrating small successes without looking for that only in large accomplishments. With every passing moment, there is opportunity to change. To one’s amaze, one has the power to harness that change and create it for oneself. This realization can be the foundation of hope one is desperately looking for. When one starts feeling that one’s path is lost, this results in loss of control on one’s own emotions. Things happen around oneself without consent, that’s why it feels so heart-wrenching. But one has the potential to change ‘how they feel and react’ and it will inverse the whole scenario. Plus, building hope on the basis of small achievements can become a ladder to bigger triumphs later. So, practicing to feel hope in harsh situations is like a stress buffering formula and path to creating more strength within oneself to have big victories. One cannot change what is happening to one from outside but one has authority on the things that happen inside one’s mind. We can say that hope is will power to change and way to bring about change.
Now the good news: there is a study from Harvard’s “Human Flourishing Program” published recently whereby researchers have examined the impact of hope on nearly 13,000 people having an average age of 66 years. They found that those having more hope throughout their lives have better physical health, better health behaviour, better social support and a longer life. Hope also leads to fewer chronic health problems, less depression, less anxiety and lower risk of cancer.
There are “heroes of hope” from the history whose persistence, belief and hope have let the magic happen. Salahuddin Ayubi, who conquered Jerusalem, used to have hope for that conquest since 6 years of age, when it was almost impossible. Nelson Mandela endured 27 years of imprisonment yet persevered to build a new nation. Thomas Alva Edison, who lightened the world with electricity and gifted much more facilities to us through his inventions, kept his hope high every time when he failed an attempt to invent after a strong struggle. The list is long; in short, everyone we see is trying to practice hope against the riddles of life which is out of their ability to understand. So is the famous saying “hope sustains life.” Elaborately said by Abraham Miller: “A man begins to die when he ceases to expect anything from tomorrow.”
In Quran, our Almighty Lord has clearly mentioned to have hope: “Do not lose hope, nor be sad.” In another verse while addressing us, He said, “And do not lose hope in the mercy of Allah, indeed none loses hope in the mercy of Allah except the most ungrateful people.” As Muslims, we are obliged to believe in Him and not to abandon the path of hope. Regardless of how hard we try, we cannot eliminate threats to hope. Hopelessness is the worst feeling that can occur to someone and its consequences are even more disastrous. Life has arrogant temperaments like freezing winter and burning summers. The winner will be the one who is optimistic and behaves better by becoming the freezing winter from within in a hot summer day and a burning ember with fire of ambitions in icy outside weather. By riding on one’s all true fears and taking shelter in stubborn devotions, one can knock down the monsters of hopelessness, frustration and desperation, and can become a hero who does not fear even with wounds so clear.
Besides the advantages of hope, giving up hope is sometimes prudent in conditions where turning our attention elsewhere is necessary in order to reach our goal. Continuing to pursue a particular direction where you invariably encounter road blocks whether in a relationship, career or business ventures can obscure other avenues that may lead to achieving an objective. Excess of every thing is bad no matter how positive or useful that thing is, and same goes for hope. How we can decide that investing hope in a particular thing can be fruitful is all about instincts and how much good we have become to distinguish use from abuse.
In conclusion, the less we can do in our life is to decide what we are hoping for and the maximum to know that this hope is in the correct orientation and then living inside that hope. Hope is companion of power and mother of success and one who hopes strongly has within him “the gift of miracles.”
There is famous poem by Thomas Hardy known as Song of Hope
O sweet To-morrow!-
There will away
This sense of sorrow
Then let us borrow
Hope, for the gleaming
Soon will be streaming
Dimmed by no-grey
While the winds wing us,
Sighs from the-Gone
Nearer to dawn
Minute-beats bring us
When there will sing us
Larks of glory
Waiting our story
Doff the black token,
Don the red shoon (shoes)
Right and retune,
Viol strings broken;
Null the words spoken,
In speeches of rueing,
The night cloud hueing,
To-morrow shines soon,
The writer is undergraduate student of medicine at Khyber Girls Medical College, Peshawar.