Hope cannot be held, measured, or weighed in our hands– yet its value surpasses any physical object we may possess. Here are 5 thoughts on the character of hope, and how its very indefinability means that it can never truly be lost.

“Hope never abandons you, you abandon it.” – George Weinberg

Hope can be a great light in our lives, but it can also be like a shadow following us even when we are unaware of its presence. Pay close attention, and it becomes clear that hope never really leaves us– we only forget, momentarily, where we saw it last.

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“Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.” – Lin Yutang

Hope is never a clear set of directions. We can search the universe for advice and inspiration, but in the end it requires us to be brave, start walking across the field, and realize “hmm… it looks like someone’s come this way before…”

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“Without hope, there is no despair. There is only meaningless suffering.” – D. Morgenstern

Hope is helpful even in its ambiguity. When things seem confusing and overwhelming, and all we have is a vague light in the distance, we don’t need absolute certainty of where the light will take us – we just need to know that what is endured here, in this moment, will mean something at the end of the journey.

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“Any little thing can give hope, like a candle in the dark.” – Christiaan Mostert

Hope has the uncommon ability to slip in through the smallest cracks of our existence. A single flower, a ray of sunlight, a pause in the storm, a smile in a crowd of people – any small moment can hold the power to re-shape our perception of the world we live in.

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“The sunrise has never failed us yet.” – Celia Baxter

Hope never fails to remind us that, as they say, it is always darkest just before dawn. If it ever feels like there is nothing left to do but give in and give up, those are the moments in which you’ve got to hold out the strongest – because it means that light and warmth are just approaching the horizon.