By Beth Lawson, United Way Board Member and CEO of StarCare Specialty Health System
As we enter the last month of the year (dare I say decade!), I am delighted to share some thoughts about hope. Let’s start with what we know. We know Lubbock Area United Way is about: Giving · People · Hope. We also know hope is the battle cry for most every struggle, ailment or tragedy we face.
Ever stop to wonder why? The answer is simple, short and sweet. Without hope, recovery is impossible. But, recovery from what? Anything. Everything. Whether you consciously know it, hope impacts us all. It touches each and every part of us – our family, our relationships, our work, our health, our everything. Without it we are all, well… hopeless.
Some say hope is a mindset or a way of thinking that helps us cope with daily life and especially with adversity. Others say it is the motivation to continue on. The definition of hope I like most is the belief things can and will work out for the best.
You might be interested to learn there is a scientific connection between hope and health. In fact, hopelessness is a better predictor of suicide than is depression. Hopeful people tend to tolerate pain better than people who are less so. How hopeful you are impacts how well you age, how productive you are at work, how you take care of yourself, and on and on. Hope has been clinically shown to have a real impact on a person’s nervous system, aiding in improvement and recovery.
Which leads me back to the idea of hope being requisite for recovery (from whatever you need to recover from.) Hope, together with a solid plan, helps us move forward, offers us resilience and gives us a tool for handling stress, change and adversity. From a place of hope, other positive emotions like courage, confidence and happiness emerge. But the really good news, scientific research shows us the more we think and act hopefully, the more hopeful we actually become!
I like to think of Lubbock Area United Way as a place where hope begins. Through community giving and the support of our Community Partners, thousands and thousands of people are gifted with the opportunity to find or rediscover their hope. Thank you for all you do to support others; thank you for the person you are. It’s because of you, someone has hope.
My best for the happiest of all holidays and, especially for a bright and hopeful new year. I’ll leave you with the words of Christopher Reeve, my generation’s Superman:
“Once you choose HOPE, anything is possible.”
Thank you, South Plains, for bringing hope to thousands in 2019