Hope isn’t a goal. It’s not a thing we control. It’s not tangible. We can’t wear it around our necks.

Hope lives in the center of our chest as a gaslight. When we need the strength, we turn the dial.

Hope surprises us when it arrives through unusual messengers. Like the olympic sprinter with no legs who inspires us to lose 40 pounds. Or the hurdler who survived homelessness and who gives us hope to overcome our own economic peril. Or the gymnast who steals the heart of your daughter and makes her think she too can be a gymnast, despite her swimmer’s frame.

Hope gives us the courage to do the things we’re in no logical position to do. Like survive cancer. Or write a book. Or ask her to marry you.

And hope spreads. By God, advancement is the whole purpose of hope. Every time we reach a goal, hope leaps from our chest into the chest of someone else. As a tiny blue flame. And an air of determination.


Jim Mitchem


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Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.