The middle virtue correlates negatively with the middle finger.
We all sort of understand what is meant by “Faith,” and by “Charity.” But, of the Christian trio, Faith, Hope, and Charity, what the heck is “Hope”?
In religion class we were always taught that “hope” means “trust,” that one really trusts that he or she will go to heaven and experience eternal bliss.
The way that I explain it to myself is that “hope” means acting as if what you believe is really true. So for instance, Mother Theresa’s mad pursuit of extraordinary medical means to preserve her own life demonstrates that she really didn’t believe all the crap she spewed about a blessed death.
The synonym I come up with is “cheerfulness.” If you really believe Christ’s message, you will be constantly cheerful.
I was the 1958 Boy of the Year of the Toluca Lake Optimist Club. I was on the Little League team they sponsored. It seemed like any other fraternal organization or service club. So I looked at the website of Optimists International.
Here is their creed. Are you an optimist?
The Optimist Creed
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
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