It's About Them

Young People … Our Greatest Resource

Where There is Hope, There is Life

This title sounds a bit heavy, but it’s so true. As a child and adolescent psychologist, I have worked with youngsters who had lost hope. Some wanted to die, feeling that nothing would ever come of their lives. They were at a low point and from there, everything looked low or lower to them. When suicide is better than living through the next five minutes … well, that’s bad.

 You need only look into the eyes of one of these youngsters once to place a high value on hope.

A few months ago, Diane Sawyer of ABC (a “Good Morning, America!” regular) did a piece on the effects of poverty. I only caught a glimpse of the show as I was passing through the living room, but it was vivid. Diane spent the night in the home of a poor family (in New York City, I assume), a single mom with a young boy about four years of age. (According to Diane, it was a rough experience all night long. I’ll spare you the details.) 

Diane interviewed the boy, a good-looking kid. He was clear on the fact that nothing would ever be any better for him and his mother, that this is how it will ALWAYS be.


Folks, if that doesn’t break your heart, you have a serious problem.

We should all be hope merchants, realistic but encouraging, especially to youngsters who don’t know that, if they can just make it around the next bend, the road improves.

We can look to the future by knowing about the past. The late Stephen Ambrose, author of “D-Day” and “Band of Brothers,” said it well:

The past is a source of knowledge;

The future is a source of hope. 

I got to checking. I don’t know if he intended it so our not, but Mr. Ambrose’s quote was amazingly close to another one … from the Bible. It’s from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans:

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning,

that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.  Romans 15:4 KJV

One purpose of keeping track of history is to learn from it, and to teach the lessons learned. Experience and learning can put a shine on the future. And the better the future looks, the better the hope. I’m not sure every four-year-old will grasp all of that, but they can read the hope in the one sharing it.

“Hope Merchants” … I like the sound of it.

 James Sutton, Psychologist


June 24, 2007 - Posted by | Counselors, Difficult Child, Educators, family, Inspirational, Parents, Self-esteem

1 Comment »

  1. Doc,
    I love the concept of hope merchants, may we all be hope merchants!


    Comment by tobeme | July 2, 2007 | Reply

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