You Give Me Hope

The very first time I posted on this blog, I wrote that I believe in everyday heroes. I stand by that post. But it needs to be expanded. Because I believe in a world where all people are equal, where leaders work for the greater good, and where all people are kind and care for one another. Obviously, that’s not reality today. Because we aren’t there yet, many people think I’m too simple or optimist or even blind to reality. Perhaps. But here are the reasons I believe in humanity. You give me hope.

Photograph of a cloudy sky with tall pines in front of mountains and a rainbow that reaches the ground an example of the hope you give me.


Humans are the most resilient and adaptable species on the planet. Many of us experience difficulties, horrible setbacks, and epic tragedies. Yet, most of us recover from those things. It’s not that we ignore what happened, but we adapt. We move forward.

There are many famous people who are examples of resilience. Oprah Winfrey, J. K. Rowling, and Stephen King are on the list but there are millions more. People whose rise above their circumstances didn’t raise them to mega-star heights. They survived. They kept on keeping on and became heroes for their family and their neighbors and sometimes for themselves.


One of the most famously persistent persons is Thomas Edison. He’s one of many now famous people who failed before they succeeded. Their drive, their persistence, led to success. Not one of them was perfect.

They weren’t perfect, but they tried. If they failed, they learned from their failure and tried again. Persistence means learning, practicing, and trying repeatedly. But the famous aren’t the only ones who are persistent.

The most persistent people in the world aren’t famous or crazy rich. They are those who wake up and go to work today and do it again tomorrow and the day after that. They may never be famous, but they have incredible stick-to-it-ness.

Problem Solvers

The human capacity for solving problems is amazing. We’ve sent people to the moon and to a station where they work in microgravity. We’ve found sunken ships. Our scientists have created vaccines to prevent some diseases and found cures for others. There are airplanes and elevators and escalators. Television. The internet.

Millions of people solve problems every day. They aren’t rich. And they’ll never be stars. They find their next meal, or dig a well for fresh water (or 195 wells), or simply get through one more day because they are problem solvers.


There have been so many problems solved, yet more and more problems crop up. Or things we thought we’d prevented or solved come back like a boomerang. It’s true. With billions of people on the planet, there are always many problems to solve. But if we focus on the problems without hope, we cannot solve them. We are quickly overwhelmed.

Hope is part of the package. Not hope as in cherishing a desire. But the archaic form of hope—to trust, to expect with confidence. If you have no hope, you aren’t resilient or persistent or a problem solver. And since there are so very many people out there who are resilient, persistent, problem-solvers—we are also a people with a lot of hope.

What I Believe

Image of  the blue sky and sun with two hands forming a heart with the sun in the center of the hands. Thank you for giving me hope

The problems we fear today, that seem so insurmountable today, aren’t. A resilient and persistent problem solver will tackle and solve these problems in part or in whole. This isn’t a vain hope. It’s an expectation that human beings are resilient, resourceful, persistent, and problem solving.

I believe in you. You are a human being. You have resilience, resourcefulness, persistence, and problem-solving skills. Whether you are solving a creative problem or finding the resources to get through the day, to save your neighbors, or to save the world—you give me hope. Thank you.

Discover Hope in Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels

Reading can be escape and inspiration. Sometimes reading is difficult. Other times it’s easy. Reading can open our eyes and minds and hearts to different ways to think, a new world, or to life, love, and maybe death. One of the greatest things reading can give us is hope. Hope grew scarce during 2020. Now, the glimmer of hope taunts us while we must continue fighting a pandemic and the capriciousness of life. Discover hope in science fiction and fantasy novels. May these quotes give you respite from whatever troubles you.

Image of stars on a purple-black field of space where you can discover hope in science fiction and fantasy novels

Even when the world throws it worst and then turns its back, there is still always hope.

Pittacus Lore, The Power of Six

Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you’d drop dead in 10 seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Kindness eases change.
Love quiets fear.
And a sweet and powerful
Positive obsession
Blunts pain,
Diverts rage,
And engages each of us
In the greatest,
The most intense
Of our chosen struggles.

Octavia E. Butler, Parable of Talents

Image of a dock reaching out into a lake reflecting the morning sunrise

Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.

Marie Lu, Legend

Know yourself. You are worth knowing. Examine your life. The unexamined life is not worth living. Be aware that other people have equal significance. Give them the space to make their own choices, and let their choices count as you want them to let your choices count. Remember that excellence has no stopping point and keep on pursuing it. Make art that can last and that says something nobody else can say. Live the best life you can, and become the best self you can. You cannot know which of your actions is the lever that will move worlds. Not even Necessity knows all ends. Know yourself.

Jo Walton, The Just City

My Personal Favorite

It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, its only a passing thing this shadow. Even darkness must pass.

J. R. R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings


A profound phrase, “Even the darkness must pass.” Be assured, no matter the darkness and pain you face, it will pass. Discover Hope in science fiction and fantasy novels or any books you read. It’s the miracle respite for whatever troubles you. What inspirational quotes have you discovered while reading?

Hope of a Cure for Sickle Cell

In the midst of the pandemic and protests and political mayhem, the grim news can be overwhelming. But there’s wonderful news, too. Remember the gene-editing technique, CRISPR? A year after gene-editing, a woman with severe sickle cell disease feels great. This success signals hope of a cure for Sickle Cell disease.

image of brown hand, thumbs up because there's hope of a cure for sickle cell disease

Sickle Cell Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders.

A healthy red blood cell is round. It travels through our blood vessels, even the tiny capillaries, and delivers oxygen to all parts of the body. When a person has SCD, their red blood cells become hard and sticky and shaped like a farm tool called the sickle.

Image of a sickle, a c-shaped tool which is what red blood cells look like in SCD, but there is now hope for  a cure for Sickle Cell Disease

These abnormal cells get stuck in small blood vessels. This clogs blood flow. It can cause mild-to-severe pain and many serious problems like strokes. These cells also die early, causing anemia.

There are three common types of Sickle Cell and three rare types. Some people carry the trait (they have half the genetic material that causes the disease). If two people with the trait have a child, they have a 50% chance of passing on the trait and a 1-in-4 chance their child will have the disease. 

SCD occurs among about 1 out of every 365 Black or African-American births. SCD occurs among about 1 out of every 16,300 Hispanic-American births. About 1 in 13 Black or African-American babies is born with sickle cell trait (SCT). Historically, mortality in the first three years was 38%. This has improved, but premature death remains a risk of this disease.

The first symptoms of the disease occur during the fifth to twelfth month of life. The only cure for SCD is bone marrow or stem cell transplant. Both procedures have risks and complications. It’s not an option for everyone.

The CRISPR Treatment

In 2019, at least two patients with severe SCD received an injection of CTX001 in a trial.

CTX001, made using the gene-editing tool, CRISPR-Cas9 changed the patients’ blood cell so they produce high levels of fetal hemoglobin. 

Fetal hemoglobin is present before birth and drops to trace amounts about six months after birth as hemoglobin A (adult hemoglobin) production takes over. Fetal hemoglobin inhibits sickling.

One Year Out

Victoria Gray, 34, is the first patient to have received CTX001. NPR reported that one year after the injection she is thriving. The treatment has alleviated nearly all her complications of SCD. 

She’s grateful and expresses that the treatment came just in time. She’s not needed to go to the hospital at a time when the pandemic makes that a scary place to be and while the National Guard deployed her husband.

Scientists are optimistic that this experiment is a success.

The Future 

I could not find out about the second patient who received the treatment, which suggests the experiment hasn’t been 100% successful. But it gives us hope of a cure for Sickle Cell Disease. And as a nurse who has witnessed the terrible effects of SCD, I am rejoicing alongside the 100,000+ Americans who suffer from this disease. May the future bring even better news and not just for SCD but for other dreadful genetic diseases. 

Hope for that Helpless Feeling

Are you in a hard place right now? Feel like you’re stuck? Helpless and Hopeless? There is hope for that helpless feeling.

Confessions of a Last Minute Writer- Mea Culpa. I messed up.

Don’t Diminish Your Feelings

You know you’re not alone. And in your heart of hearts, you believe your hard place isn’t anywhere near as hard as those of people of color or police officers or medical workers or even some grocery store clerks. And that’s part of the problem.

Other people having hard times in their lives doesn’t negate your troubles. Your troubles still disrupt your life. Cause you pain.

Troubles in trying to write or not being able to go to the movie theater or being unable to visit your loved ones are painful. But they aren’t really the problem. You focus on a smaller problem. Because you feel helpless.

You cannot cure COVID or right the wrongs of racial inequality. And you cannot heal the rage and the hate and the hurt of the world. You wish you could. And when you realize you’re not in a position to help, You feel impotent. Helpless. Paralyzed.


Trauma affects you mentally and physically. You say, wait—I’ve not experienced the trauma—I’ve just watched it on television, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or some other social media.

Yes, people who’ve been at the blunt end—who’ve experienced racial hatred, experienced police brutality, those who’ve fought to protect people who seem to hate them, those who’ve cared for the sick and dying day-after-day—they are at the blunt end. They are experiencing trauma. And they need to take care of themselves in much the same way I discuss here.

But even if you’ve not been at the blunt end. Trauma is happening all over the world. Cover-19, protests, brutality, wars, hate, death—there is some kind of trauma in the media 24/7. You can’t help but see it. If you have a heart, you can’t help but have an emotional reaction to it. And feeling helpless in the face of all that’s happening is natural. But there is hope for that helpless feeling.

Get Help

If your feelings of helplessness or hopelessness overwhelm you to the point it interferes with your daily activities—get professional help.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish. Call or visit the website for more information.

Be Aware

Each of us has certain things that trigger more anxiety and more feelings of helplessness. Be aware of what your triggers are. Name them. There’s power in being aware. Seeing or feeling someone’s rage can be a trigger. And there’s a lot of rage being expressed these days.

Sometimes we can see patterns. Have you ever had this kind of anxiety or helpless feeling before? What happened right before you felt that way? Any patterns between then and now? 

If you’re aware of your triggers and your patterns of behavior, you can choose healthier behaviors.

Be in the Moment

Focus on where you are (assuming that you are in a safe place.) Breathe. Hear the sounds around you. What are you touching—how does it feel? What do you smell? Which of your muscles are tight? Breathe. Center yourself.

Focus on Action

Take a healthy action. Take care of yourself.

Walk or exercise.

Do deep breathing or relaxation exercises.

Drink plenty of water (avoid alcohol).

Speak to friends or family (social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t use the telephone, Zoom, or even a driveway chat).

Set a small, achievable goal. Even as small as you will wash your face or brush your teeth. Then take that first step toward getting it done. Achieving the goal will help remind you that you can do this.

You Can Do This

Hope for that helpless feeling is in extending a hand to help someone else

Change the story you’re telling yourself. Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, remember that you have choices. Do what you can do. Your choices won’t change the trauma. It will change you. 

Remembering that you have a choice helps. Make a choice be aware of your triggers. Choose to be in this moment—feel the hard or soft surface of the place where you sit. Feel the tension in your legs and shoulders. Movement helps reduce tension. Sharing with a trusted friend helps. Reach out to help someone else. Hope for that helpless feeling is in extending a hand to help someone else.


There is hope for that helpless feeling. It’s one of the antidotes to helplessness. Hope is for something to come. Hope is for the future. Believe in the basic goodness of people. Believe that you can help. It may be in a small way, but if you help one person–that’s more than enough. You can do it. Find hope. Tell me one thing you’ll do today to find hope.

Love & Hope in the Pandemic

It’s good to see so many posts and articles praising and thanking our frontline workers. But there are many more examples of love & hope in the pandemic. Let’s look at a few.

Image of hands forming a heart against the sunset represents love and hope in the pandemic

Row Venice

Female gondola rowers in Venice — who are all part of a nonprofit organization called Row Venice — deliver groceries to the elderly and those who cannot shop for themselves. They also volunteer for local farmhouses, delivering organic produce and other products to the elderly and immunocompromised. Follow them on their Instagram account.

PPE for Healthcare Workers

A start up company, Augment Bionics, used to 3D print affordable prosthetics. Now the company prints PPE for healthcare workers. They need help to continue this effort. If you can afford it, visit their GoFundMe page.


Canadians, Mita Hans, Valentina Harper, and others started caremongering (a new word) on Facebook. . They wanted to turn scaremongering around into a positive. And they have. There are dozens of these Facebook groups performing acts of kindness for one another. You can search for caremongering and your city in the Facebook search bar. If you don’t have a group near you, why not start one? 

Hand Sanitizer

One of the many items shoppers have searched for is hand sanitizer.

Distilleries across the country and the world have been able to pivot when coronavirus COVID-19 threatened to shut down their business. Read how they help fight the virus by making hand sanitizer.

Giving Back

This Forbes report lists fifty ways companies are giving back to their employees or communities. It includes some resources you might find handy.

Respectful Protests

Israelis in Tel Aviv showed us how to protest and respect social distancing (mostly.)


I don’t know about you, but I’m enjoying the coronavirus parodies of popular songs erupting on YouTube.

Here is my favorite #loving #pandemic #earworm. 

If you don’t know the author, professional speaker, and bookseller. Mark Leslie Lefebvre, check out his website.

Stay Informed, Not Depressed

We need to stay informed about the pandemic. We need to remember that stay-at-home quarantine didn’t kill the virus even if it flattened the curve. But sometimes the grim news gets overwhelming. Next time you are feeling down or overwhelmed by it all, look for the good deeds. Look for the love and hope during the pandemic. It’s there. Waiting to inspire you.