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Thursday, January 4th, 2018

As 2018 Chimes In – Time to Focus on Hope

2018The fireworks have lit the skies from east to west and the New Year is with us, but what will it bring?

We find ourselves in stormy times – Brexit, Austerity, Cuts, A&E Congestion, Demands for Social Care, Terrorism, World Tensions, Government Instability, the list goes on. For the Voluntary and Community Sector times are tough and could get even tougher. So, what do we do?

I advocate that we remember that new dawns bring new opportunities as well as new threats and we focus on making a success of 2018 regardless. It is time for a mantle of hope and optimism.

I am reminded of a classic poem of Emily Dickinson:

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

The metaphor of hope as a bird is often used, but Dickinson nailed it here.

The bird is a delicate thing but in all conditions, on the wind, diving into the sea, in the tropics or on snow covered terrain, birds get on with it with a clear focus. This is especially true of the migrating bird, which has a mission, an end goal and makes sure of staying on track.

So, may 2018 see us all keeping on track to our end goals, travelling day by day with fortitude and positivity, for, as Dickinson points out in her final line, hope costs nothing. In fact it is uplifting, a tonic for these dark January days.