What does the word “hope” mean to you? I know many of us, myself included, use it to refer to something we are wishing for.
I always hear phrases such as, “I hope I win the lottery,” or “I hope that you can come hangout tonight.”
What these phrases say is, “I am wishing for this to happen.” There is no certainty that these things will occur.
That is the problem with people using the word hope—we continue to misuse it. If you look at the original, archaic definition of hope in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, you’ll see it means “trust.”
The word hope was intended to mean something different than it does today; it was meant to stand for trusting that something in the near future will happen, not wishing.
During my Character Camp experience as a mom, we went over the definition of hope in one of the training sessions. Sheryl Haile, professor of psychology, explained that hope is a certainty. She said hope is knowing that something will happen in future.
Haile used the example of Jesus to explain what hope truly meant. Haile said Jesus is our hope. We believe he is our savior, and we hope (trust) he will come back to take us to Heaven.
When Haile said this, it resonated with me.
The word hope is such a deep, meaningful word. It is used to describe someone so significant: Jesus. The weight of its definition alone is intense, and yet, it is a word we take it for granted nearly every time we use it to wishfully foreshadow simple events like “hanging out.”
After the training session, I completely changed the way I use the word hope, but it did not stop there. What Haile said also caused me to think about how I use all words. The training session motivated me to change my vocabulary.
I have committed myself to stop using words like “literally” all the time. I try to avoid overusing words that, not too long ago, produced a powerful statement when used. I continue to alter my vocabulary so that each time I speak, my words hold weight and meaning behind them.I want to truly mean what I say, so now when I remember the phrase “think before you speak,” it holds a new meaning behind it.