Epilogue: Giving More Than Hope

As I begin to write this the day after Christmas, the yuletide season of this year has already come to a close. Christmas trees have begun to be put away for another year or dragged to the curb to be picked up, lines to exchange gifts or to begin to spend gift cards begin to form, offices and stores reopen, and for so many our regular routines return.

But as so many of us now turn our thoughts now turn to the coming New Year with new resolutions, goals, and aspirations, I am still looking back at what this past year has brought.

We all will see 2017 through our own eyes and from our own perspective. For those who had a great year, they will fondly remember the victories, achievements, and happiness that followed.

But for those who 2017 has left battered the New Year cannot arrive too soon.

And those are the ones I am thinking about as last year ends and a new one begins.

This past year has been difficult for so many that we have known and loved for a great many years and have faced tremendous heartbreak and loss.

They hurt because they have lost their month old daughter after a battle with cancer on Christmas Eve.

They hurt because they have lost their lovely little girl at age nine whose heart gave out years after her heart transplant when all seemed to be going well.
They hurt because their valiant granddaughter passed away after her second lung transplant and battling back before her body just gave out from the fight.

They hurt because they have lost their beautiful wife and partner in a tragic car accident due to carelessness of a young driver.

They hurt because those they love have fallen ill and are in the fight of their lives to comeback.

And they hurt because those they love have gone.

But in their profound sadness is an unmeasurable courage that can only come from the tragedies they are forced to face.

I believe that we can find the strength we need in those tears we shed along with the smiles and laughter we find in remembering the times we have shared for which we wouldn’t trade anything in the world.

Both laughter and tears lift us up and remind us of the joy of what we have and what we have lost. They help make us who we are.

We all look for hope in the New Year and we all wish that hope for others. But I think in this upcoming year that we look for more than just offering hope.

As President John F. Kennedy once remarked, “Hope makes a good breakfast but a poor supper.”

I find it interesting that we all talk about hope as a commodity. So many in the nonprofit world like to say “we give our clients hope” or we are all quick to say to those who are facing difficult times “don’t lose hope.”

Hope as important as it is only takes us so far. Hope gives us a good breakfast but only leaves us
only wanting at supper.

In this New Year let’s do more than talk of and the offer of hope. This year let us offer help and kindness to all we come in contact with and all who seek us out in troubled times.

On each desk at our office at the Waddell Client Service Center is a framed card given to us by long-time friend and board member George Suggs that reads…

“Our job is not to judge.
Our job is not to figure out if someone deserves something.
Our job is to lift the fallen, to restore the broken, and to heal the hurting.”

All the more we are here for those who may feel they are damaged, broken, and beaten by life.

We don’t have to look far for those in need – we just have to look. But looking and acknowledging they are there is not enough.

This isn’t just a philosophy or empty rhetoric – it is a call to action; a call to all of us. This is the one thing that can draw us all together in a tumultuous world in the midst of troubled days.

There is nothing on this earth stronger than kindness. Let us show the world that we are strong. Come and join us.

Let us begin…

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