Three books with a focus on hope. “Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.” Helen Keller When I was eight years old, a book I read over and over was about Helen Keller. The book was published in 1969 by Margaret Davidson and was beautifully illustrated by Wendy Watson. Keller lost her sight and hearing after illness aged 19 months. Anne Sullivan became her lifelong companion from the age of seven and taught her how to communicate. Keller went on to become degree-educated, an author, educator, disability rights advocate, political activist and a lecturer. On the back cover of my favourite childhood book, there was the Braille alphabet. I would close my eyes and I would run my right index finger over and over the letters teaching myself how to read testing myself by randomly placing my finger onto the page to guess the individual letters. This book taught me more than reading Braille though. It taught me all about resilience, confidence and hope, that if a little girl called Helen Keller could overcome all the challenges she faced and thrive then anything was possible. This book became my life guide. “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” Helen Keller Keller was to be my first childhood hero. I was fascinated by her and she taught me the true meaning of hope. Another one of my childhood heroes was Anne Frank. When I was 13, I went to Amsterdam on a school trip and visited Anne Frank House having previously read her diary. “Where there is hope, there is life.” Anne Frank Whilst in prison, Nelson Mandela read Anne Frank's diary and is said to have "derived much encouragement from it" likening Frank's struggle against Nazism to his struggle with apartheid. Mandela was the recipient of a humanitarian award from the Anne Frank Foundation in 1994. “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” Nelson Mandela The third of the three books I will share with you on this journey of hope is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. With over 65 million copies sold and translated in 80 languages, it’s a beautiful allegory of pursuing your dreams by following what your heart truly desires. A metaphor of life, The Alchemist, focuses on how to find your destiny. Yet another guide full of hope, adventure and courage. “In dire times you can lose joy, but you can’t lose hope. Hope is your guide.” Paulo Coelho With hope, you seek to make your life better one way or another. Hope helps you to define your future, to visualise where or who you want to be, what you want to have and do. However, hope is not enough, it requires you to take deliberate action. Whether you seek it or not, whether you see it or not, whether you feel it or not, know that when you need it, hope is there. Hope is your constant companion on whichever path you choose to take. Anne Frank said, "Where there is hope, there is life." You could also say, where there is life, there is hope. What does hope look or feel like for you?
ACTION POINT Turn one of your hopes into a reality! Turn your hopes into actions. Amy