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HopeA Virtue
Written by Jaehong Min | Published. 2018.05.14 14:35 | Count : 1002
As a high school sophomore and soon-to-be junior, I am caught in a web of perplexed feelings quite often. Studies get more and more difficult, and I think about the uncertainties about my future path in life. Recently, I was assigned a school project in which  I had to examine poetry while focusing on one theme. In need of an escape from the hectic tendencies of daily life, I chose to examine the theme of hope. Looking at hope through poetry was a spiritually healing experience, as it allowed me to take a break from busy daily life, read some poetry, and relax. I realized that hope is a virtue that should be passed on.
Hope can help one get through any difficult times they may be experiencing. The road to achieving a goal is always difficult. Realizing how hard it is to accomplish a personal goal can lead to discouragement. Hope acts as a positive emotion that can empower and motivate a person to get through these hard times. Having hope and visioning that one can accomplish their goal can allow them to forget about their negative emotions, and act as a fuel for motivation towards their goal. When these positive emotions spread throughout society, hope creates a virtuous cycle. “But if you never try you’ll never know, just what you’re worth” is a lyric from British rock band Coldplay’s song “Fix You.” This lyric represents the cycle of hope in modern pop culture, and encourages people going through difficult times to have faith in themselves and work towards their goal again. The positive emotion of hope can empower people to overcome their difficulties, and they will want to pass their hope on to others upon experiencing it.
I feel that examining the theme of hope in poetry was the perfect decision to make, especially at the current stage I was at. Reading poetry about hope reminded me once more that I should always hold on to hope. A poem that was especially memorable to me was “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson. Hope “sings the tune without words - / And never stops - at all.” (Dickinson 3~4) This was a reminder to me that no matter what circumstances I am going through, hope will never falter. I felt that I should remember these at all times, and console myself by thinking of those lines.
[Hope (retrieved from Getty Images)]
In the first half of a sophomore year, I went through a hardship I had never faced before. During a school trip, I had a big accident, and I had to be hospitalized for quite a while. As a result, I missed a lot of school. At first, it was hard for me to even open my eyes properly and walk. I was always pressured under the fact that school doesn’t wait for me, and that my peers are continuing on with school work. It looked almost impossible for me to catch up fully, as my peers were moving ahead full speed, but I couldn’t even walk properly. When I was discouraged by all my negative thoughts, I tried to listen to music and remind myself that everything will be okay. I also had friends and family that tried to cheer me up and tell me that everything will be okay, both from close and afar. Receiving hope from the people near me, I recklessly believed in myself that I could do it, and eventually, I was able to recover from my injury and catch up with everything. The emotion of hope was what allowed me to overcome the hardship.
I am sure everyone will go through difficult situations like my experience. Reading poetry and revisiting the theme of hope let me reminisce on this event. I only realized afterwards that hope was what allowed me to stand back up and overcome my difficulties. Reminding oneself that hope will always be there is important, as one can easily forget about this in hard times. I received hope from my friends and family, and poetry also. I have learned about the virtuous cycle hope gives, and write this article in hopes of a reader learning about this also.

Jaehong Min
Korea International School

Jaehong Min  student_reporter@dherald.com

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