Keep your eyes on the Sun and you will not see the shadows.”

—Australian Aborigine saying

The struggle for freedom in India, from an empire whose “sun never set”, was a movement driven by hope. The movement against apartheid in South Africa, in spite of several setbacks, was kept alive with hope. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. cried out to his fellow Americans that “I have a dream”, he was extending hope to an entire population. Hope made it possible for the blind to read through Braille. Space exploration is a field driven by hope. Hope has taken man to the moon and will one day establish its settlements on Mars.

Hope and fear both are emotions where hope persuades us to keep going ahead as already stated by citing some examples, whereas fear prevents us from taking any steps because of the negative impact we think our decisions may have. Every day, millions of people struggle to get one square meal to sustain themselves throughout the day. What keeps
such people alive? Man shall not survive on bread alone. It is hope which sustains him for the day and not simply food.

Hope that tomorrow they would eat and be full. Hope which speaks to them that this is not the end and there would be days when they would not sleep hungry.

We should be anchored to hope. An anchor is used to moor a ship to the sea bottom. When a ship is anchored, it moves because of the waves below but the captain of the ship does not get apprehensive because he knows that the anchor is controlling the boat. Likewise, hope is the anchor of our soul. After the world had witnessed the devastations caused by the two World Wars, the United Nations was founded with the promise of establishing peace in the
world. There might have been disappointments but it still makes all efforts to control flare-ups like the recent one by North Korea. The ‘fear’ of nuclear weapons is being continuously dealt with the ‘hope’ of securing peace.

Fears hold us back; hope helps us to achieve. And we dare to dream because of hope present inside us. And yes we should not have hope in our circumstances because they may let us down, also not in our career or assets as things may change. But we should have belief in ourselves and the Almighty who created us with a purpose on this earth.

The youth today, given all their skills, resources and talents, settle for the ordinary instead of striving to be the best. Their fears confine them. They are threatened by their fear of failure, fear of losing out in life, fear of being a nobody. Fears lead not only to failure but doom. Failures can also be overcome with hope. But the fear of failure will lead to another failure. The fear of defeat can rout an army from the battlefield. Fears also, ultimately can be driven away by either facing them or by taking professional help. There are millions of people unemployed in our country. For India to become a developed nation with extraordinary and competent youth, we should not give up on our potential, have visionary teachers and scientists, learn from saints and seers, have knowledge in our society and take patriotism beyond politics and religion. Fear paralyses our lives, brains into being the ordinary lot. When people choose to live
in a world of fearlessness, they never give up on their hope and choose to be superhumans. Shark-diving experts, police officers, marine divers, astronauts, army, navy, air force personnel, professional athletes and explorers all face dangerous and risky situations every day in their line of work. They are able to overcome their fears and face these changes head-on. These people turn their weaknesses into their strength.

If you think life is not meant to work out for you because you failed at a goal or dream that did not become a reality, then you have not read the story of Walt Disney. Many won’t even put 100 attempts towards their goal let alone fail 300 times. This goes to show if you want to become something failing should not stop you from achieving your dreams, Walt Disney is the illustration of that. The irony of Mickey Mouse’s creation is that Walt Disney, in fact, himself was afraid of rats. However, he turned his fear into success. And the show still goes on. Disney did not give up even after being subject to a stream of failures. He failed several times (apparently over 300) which included failing to open a business, and being rejected by newspaper companies because he lacked “artistic integrity”. He still kept pushing the envelope and consistently pursued what he knew he was capable of doing. Rather than focusing on the past, he put all this energy and attention to the achievements of the future.

So millions may give up, thousands may stay, but only a handful will turn their fears into success. Fear is instilled in us many a time by family members, friends, peers and much by the society we live in. This can influence us in a very negative manner so much so that people may not even linger close to their target even once in their lives. We should be deaf when people tell us that we cannot achieve our dreams.

There is a heartwarming tale of Thomas Alva Edison’s mother lying to him about his expulsion from school due to mental deficiency. Years after Edison’s mother had died he was by then one of the greatest inventors of the century. One day he was going through his closet and he found the folded letter that his old teacher wrote to his mother that day. He opened it. This message written in the letter was “Your son is mentally deficient. We cannot let him attend our school anymore; he is expelled.”  Edison became emotional reading it and then wrote in his diary: “Thomas A Edison was a mentally deficient child whose mother turned him into a genius of the century.” Hope bestowed on someone can change their destiny. Irrespective of what the school or society thought for Edison, his mother hoped and did her best into converting what seemed impossible for others. Competence and hard work do not follow any gender and age bars provided we always pave ways for our hopes rather than our fears. There may be obstacles in our life: we may be trying to start a business, waiting to meet the right person, break an addiction, see our families restored or decide on our careers. For this, we need to ‘Ignite the flame of Hope’ in ourselves by becoming deaf and blind to the fears surrounding us.

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