A thought by Ray Johnston (2014-05-13) from his book, The Hope Quotient: Measure It. Raise It. You'll Never Be the Same. (p.152). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
Ray says, “Blame is deadly. I’ll never forget a young couple who came into my office years ago, seeking counsel for their troubled marriage. They looked sharp; they had two beautiful young children, a gorgeous home, and scowls that blistered the paint on my office walls.
“’What’s up?’ I asked. That’s all it took.
“’Well, he...’ She took off and shredded the guy for what seemed like thirty minutes. Then she made a strategic mistake— she took a breath. He took over. ‘Well, she ...’ Out came a machine gun of hurtful words that riddled her. Back and forth they went, with increasing volume until staff members stationed outside my office left to work at the loud coffee shop around the corner because it was quieter.
“’Just shut up for a minute,’ I finally said. (I’ve mentioned that counseling isn’t my forte, haven’t I?) ‘You two might be the single most immature pair of adults I have ever met, and I can prove it! Your children are about six and eight years old, right?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Would you let your son talk to your daughter the way you just talked about her?’ The husband slumped in his chair. The wife got pale and quiet.
“’You don’t even have the maturity of six-year-olds,’ I said. Then I was struck with a thought. ‘Come back another time when you are ready to fix the problem instead of just trying to “fix” the blame.’”
Ray then says, “You cannot fix the blame and solve the problem at the same time. That couple was suffering the consequences of a life without hope. Without hope, people do not believe things can improve. Discouraged people become destructive people. Blame takes the place of hope and fills the home (and my office) with all kinds of toxic emotions. The two of them had arrived with enough ammunition to destroy each other for hours. Eventually, those two made changes, and the last I heard, their kids grew up unscathed by divorce.”
He continues, “Without hope, people become disillusioned and discouraged, but people with hope believe that things actually can get better. Hope leads to the type of actions that lead to things getting better.”
So, how is your hope?