When Allied troops entered a concentration camp in 1945, they found a handful of starved, sick prisoners who survived to see the end of World War II. A soldier found a three-line poem scratched by a Holocaust prisoner in the wall of the barracks:
I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining.
I believe in love, even though I don’t feel it.
I believe in God, even when he is silent.
The anonymous verse reflects the power of hope and our need for inspiration at the most desperate times.
Anne Frank, a 16 year-old girl and author of the famous diary, hid in an attic with her family for two years before they were betrayed and discovered by Nazi soldiers. She died shortly before the end of the World War II at Bergen-Belson. She clung to her positive belief that there was good in the world and much to be thankful for.
In Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, released by her father and published after her death, she wrote, “Where there’s hope, there’s life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.” Anne’s words continue to inspire generations of individuals who have lost hope and yearn for reassurance.
There is an indomitable spirit that burns within us and yearns to be reignited – especially during difficult times. The brightest inspirational words are often composed by individuals experiencing failure, desperation, or hardship.
Senator Edward Kennedy delivered his most powerful speech when he lost his party’s support for the presidential nomination in 1980. As he rallied support for the Democratic nominee, Jimmy Carter, he said, “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dreams shall never die.”
I hope these inspirational quotations rekindle your spirit when you most need to experience hope:
Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible. – Helen Keller
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. – Melody Beattie
Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier. – Gen. Colin Powell
In order to carry a positive action, we must develop here a positive vision. – Dalai Lama
Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. – Mother Teresa
Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up. – Anne LaMott
Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. – Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. – Denis Waitley
Religion is for people who’re afraid of going to hell. Spirituality is for those who’ve already been there. – Vine Deloria, Jr.
What we think we become. – Buddha
Choosing optimism over pessimism does not mean that the steps ahead will be easy, but hope lightens a burden. When I need direction, I remember words from A Course In Miracles:
Where would You have me go?
What would You have me do?
What would You have me say and to whom?
The words of St. Francis of Assisi can guide your steps when you face difficult decisions:
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Anne Frank joyfully wrote, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” The light we often seek, especially during difficult times, is within.
It is my prayer for you that these words bless you with hope.
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