When I thought about the last two days' posts, I realized how powerful a tool "hope" is. If a person honestly doesn't believe that things will get better when he/she is down, I would have to say, "Then, how do you go on?"
My parents were great optimists and they passed that quality on. I can't remember a day going by in my childhood when they didn't feeling optimistic about their own lives, my siblings, and mine. I should imagine it's very difficult to feel hopeful when your parents aren't. And I'm in awe of people who grew up in non-supportive, pessimistic, or abusive households and still have hope.
What exactly is hope? Perhaps the following people define it best:
"The capacity for hope is the most significant fact of life. It provides human beings with a sense of destination and the energy to get started." ~Norman Cousins
"The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure but from hope to hope." ~Samuel Johnson
"Hope is a renewable option: If you run out of it at the end of the day, you get to start over in the morning." ~Barbara Kingsolver
"Hope is the thing with feathers - that perches in the soul - and sings the tune without words - and never stops, at all." ~Emily Dickinson