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Singing the tune without the words: the renewal of hope

  1. What a year it’s been.

It feels like that phrase is trotted out every year, yet it seems particularly apt for 2023. On the world stage this year, bad news has so often outweighed the good. People undergoing extreme experiences of war and weather. Reports of loss and pain confronting us every day.

Yet still each New Year brings the promise of hope: the possibility of resolution to conflict, of new beginnings and the healing of old wounds. It’s one of the great gifts we have as humans: the capacity for hope.

According to the late Charles Snyder’s famous theory, hope depends on three things: having a goal, having a choice of pathways to achieving that goal, and a sense of agency or a belief that we can make change happen. In everyday life, hope is sparked by seemingly the smallest things, yet in reality, these are never small. Just like a forest has to begin with a single seed or a single tree, each one adds up, and becomes part of something much larger and more powerful. 

As we progress to the end of the year and begin the next, let’s nurture our capacity for hope. Let’s learn from nature. Each new leaf or shoot, each flowering is such a triumph of hope, such a manifestation of the irrepressible life force all beings share. As poet Emily Dickinson famously wrote circa 1861:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all –

Let’s never stop embracing hope, and singing the tune without the words. From everyone at Koala Eco, our very best wishes for a peaceful and loving end to your year, and a wonderful, hope-filled start to 2024.

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Jess

Koala Eco Journal

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