Hope vs Regret

People often stop hoping for things. After all, what good does hoping do? You can't have everything you want. If you hope for too much, you'll probably regret it, because you'll wind up losing out. Ok, we'll stop that kind of thinking right now.

First of all, hope does contain power, just as faith does. If you place an order from Amazon, faith says it will arrive. You might also hope it arrives unbroken, or that nobody steals it from your front porch. Faith knows that you already own it, it's paid for and will arrive soon. Hope wonders if it will be as good as it seemed when you ordered it, yet hope is powerful in a slightly different way than faith is.

I remember reading about the things seniors regretted most in life. It was the things they DIDN'T do, rather than things they did. Many had made mistakes, often costly ones, but oddly, nobody seemed to regret any of these things. The ones who had chosen not to try something had the deepest regrets. So, let's suppose you are invited to a party, or to try sky-diving, or to an amusement park. Your initial reaction is that it would be lots of fun, but then you doubt yourself a bit, you question whether you'd really want to do it, and you tell the person, 'Maybe next time'. You lost hope in the enjoyment of trying something new, and now you regret it. But what if it were a much more important situation? A potential love-interest invites you somewhere, but you doubt yourself and say no. You don't dare hope you'd have a chance with them, so it seems easier to cut the ties now, than to get your hopes up and be hurt later. A job offer comes up but it's in another country. Again, do you dare hope it will be the right choice? Do you dare try?

Do you see where this is going? Life will present us with a number of opportunities we can hope to benefit from, hope to enjoy, hope to make money from, hope to find happiness through, and we can take those chances and hope for the best, or we can say 'Maybe next time' and get into a habit of saying no to the beauty of life. We could be saying no to the very best life is offering to us. So then we get old, and live to regret all of these things we said no to.

My advice is to just say yes. Some of these events will be tiring, some will be frightening, some will be expensive, but if life is bringing us to these places, ought we not to accept the invitation and at least try? We ought to have enough hope to give them a chance. Our lives could be drastically changed for the better, or if all goes badly, at least we tried. We made the effort. We hoped. And in so doing, we lived a bit more.

We may even regret some of the things we tried and failed at, but none of those regrets would be as deep as the regret of never having hope enough to try. So when life comes knocking, say yes. Have hope. You may never be the same afterwards, but that's probably a good thing. Life is a journey. Get off your couch and take the voyage!