No one won last week’s Pennsylvania lottery drawing causing the new jackpot to reach an astonishing $359 million! Thousands of people have added to this kitty in the hope of being the one who takes it all. They line up, spend their hard-earned dollars and then they wait and hope. They have hope even though they are more likely to be struck by lightening or attacked by a shark.
Although people may fear the possibility of being charred by a natural phenomenon or being human chum, their sense of fear pales in comparison to their sense of hope. Because people seem to not fear the awful outcomes as much as they hope for the wonderful ones. Crumpled, tightly held lottery ticket in hand, each possessor will confidently confess, “It’s worth a shot.” and “What do I have to lose?”. But what they are really saying is that they have hope. And that hope is the belief in the possibility that against all odds something good, no something extraordinary can happen to anyone.
And that is because hope is greater than fear. Because although fear is necessary for survival, our ancestors rightly knew that the lion wasn’t a trainable pet for amusement, so is hope. For many of us, fear keeps us from being jailed, injured or killed. Fear protects us from bad things happening but hope is what protects us when they do. And as we all know, bad things do happen. And it is then that hope outweighs fear. After all, even in one’s darkest hour, we may—pray for the cancer to go away, pray for the loved one to wake up, pray for the much-needed job. We pray to whomever we believe runs the universe because we hope. We hope that things even at their worst can be better.
Hope is what causes us to continue forward when it seems the entire world is pulling us back. Hope is why we get out of bed each morning even though we hurt either physically or emotionally. Hope is why we try to love again even though our heart has been broken. Hope is why we reach out again even when our hands have been slapped away. And for writers, hope is why we pick up the pen, put fingers to keyboard; hope is what makes us write.
I can’t imagine a writer who doesn’t fear the daunting task of filling a blank page with beautiful prose that matters. But I also can’t imagine a writer who doesn’t hope that she can. I know most writers must fear rejection but they continue to write in hopes of acceptance. And for all of us readers, thank God for hope because with only fear and no hope, there would be no beautiful words, no meaningful stories. So writers everywhere, overcome the fear and embrace the hope because this world won’t be made better with empty pages. So pick up the pen, put fingers to keyboard and say, “It’s worth a shot.” and “What do I have to lose?”.
Causes Sherry Parnell Supports
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, Heifer International