If you’re in the Baltimore area or will be before mid-September this year, head over to the American Visionary Art Museum and give yourself time to check out the Big Hope Show. I was there on June 9 with a group organized by Well for the Journey. Our facilitators, Greg Cochran and Becky Slater, started us out with a few minutes spent writing about what hope means to us. Here are the thoughts that came to me:

Hope exists within two intermingled areas of our lives and our psyches, the inspirational and the pragmatic. There is the “what could be” someday. There is the “what can be” today. “What could be someday” inspires the “what can be”  now.

Within these intermingled areas there are two kinds of hope: Big “H” and small “h” hope. Big “H” Hope is our big vision and the big actions we take in support of that vision. Small “h” hope links to big”H” hope, reflecting our every day wishes, actions and interactions. Small “h”  hope brings big “H” Hope into the here and now. Big”H” Hope – glimpses of the world as it could be –  appears in our acts of extraordinary courage,creativity,and kindness that appear in the context of our day to day lives.

Small “h” hopes connect us to one another and to that which structures our daily lives. Big “H” Hopes connect us to our purpose in life, to something greater than ourselves and to our vision for the future.


What does hope mean to you? Get in touch to share a guest post, resource, video or audio with the Department of Hope.

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