Commentary – ‘Hope springs eternal’

Pearl Lorentzen

Scoops are pretty rare in the weekly newspaper business.
With a two-day delay between finishing layout and publication, there’s a certain amount of history to all reporting. On our websites, we occasionally make a scoop, but in general there isn’t a lot of pressure to be the first.
This doesn’t mean what we write isn’t news. It just has a slower pace than much of the instant gratification within western society.
This is where hope comes in.
My first year at the Leader, I wrote a historical article about Clarence Jaycox. He died many years ago, but Loon River First Nation named its school after him. The article took months to write.
I went up to Loon River for Treaty Days in 2019. I interviewed one of the Elders, who has now passed away. He spoke in Cree. Another community member translated. I also spoke with the chief and school principal. However, I wanted to speak with some family members. I left various voicemails and emails. Finally, one of the family members got back to me. He apologized.
I responded, “Hope springs eternal” and there was no rush.
Often when I think about hope, I think about this idiom.
Thefreedictionary.com says the idiom ‘hope springs eternal’ was coined by a poet Alexander Pope in 1732. It is from An Essay on Man. The full line is ‘hope springs eternal in the human breast.’
One of the things I enjoy about working for a weekly newspaper is the variety. This is both in the content, but also in the timeline. Some articles are a rush. They need to be on the website ASAP. Others can simmer on a back burner for months.
However, in both cases hope is present. There is hope that what we write will be of interest to our readers, that we’ll catch all the typos, and that we’ve found the best sources.
Another passage which comes to mind is Hebrews 11:1 [NKJV].
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
There are many things which we cannot see, and more we cannot control. We do have the power to choose hope.
The last year and a half have been full of many times when hope and faith were the main things which got me through.
The last two weeks have been tough because of the increase in COVID-19 cases. I was involved in planning an event which had to be postponed until January at the earliest.
Something else I was working toward for the last six months was postponed without a definite new date. I decided to postpone my vacation.
However, within that there was also a sliver of hope. I was able to do some things I had thought wouldn’t be possible. Vacations can still happen in the winter or late fall.
Much of our society is focused on things being instant – instant messenger, instant noodles, instant gratification, etc. The problem is that this rushed atmosphere doesn’t leave space for hope.
If we are constantly bombarded with wants and needs, and rush to fulfill them all, we miss out on anticipation.
When things are out of your control, remember hope is not lost.

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