Our noblest hopes
“Our noblest hopes grow teeth and pursue us like tigers.” — John Gardner
Tigers may be my favorite wild animals. Their beauty and power fascinate me. I like this quote, because I believe hope can be a formidable weapon against despair. I tend to think of hope as a passive, almost delicate quality; something silent and steadfast, but hardly the word that comes to mind when we see a magnificent tiger.
Yet think of history’s most daring explorers, the legendary defenders of the weak, champions of justice and underdogs who defeated the enemy against all odds. Consider the many heroic characters of fairy tales and other literature. Aside from courage, what other quality do they all have? Hope — the refusal to give up or give in, the persistent belief that success, or victory, or a breakthrough, is within their power.
Note that Gardner is not referring to pipe dreams or selfish aspirations here – he says it’s our noblest hopes that can pursue and overtake us.
The next time you are feeling defeated by despair, remember that hope, once awakened, is a ferocious and mighty asset. Feed your noblest hopes, let them grow teeth, and watch them empower you to do more than you ever imagined.
One year ago today: