This time of year is one of hope and anticipation. And yet for many there is unspeakable pain in the aftermath of a tragedy that we find hard to understand. Innocence was lost. Lives were cut abruptly short. We all stand in solidarity with the people of Newtown, as they mourn the children and teachers who are no longer with us. We pray with them and for them. And we vow to never forget their loved ones.
As leaders, we search for hope even in the midst of the unthinkable. When we look hard enough, we always find it.
As Napoleon Bonaparte so eloquently said,
“A Leader is a Dealer in Hope.”
Hope is powerful. It helps us to see beyond our current reality, to believe that tomorrow will bring new possibilities and renewed strength. As leaders, we are called to bring hope to those who need it. At times we will walk with them, side by side, and other times, our hope will be what carries them.
Over the past few days there have been numerous hope-filled moments, and many of them have come directly from the victim’s families. They have shown us strength and courage. At a time when we should be carrying them, they have carried an entire nation and restored our hope. They have bravely shared stories and introduced us to their loved ones. They have opened our hearts with stories of their beloved children, 6 and 7 year olds, who were incredible young leaders, filled with hope and already making a difference in the lives of those who loved them. They’ve told us of devoted teachers and administrators who heroically protected their students and paid the ultimate price.
There are times in life when we aren’t sure how to help. Clearly, this is one of those times. One simple way for each of us to help is to have hope. Stand up and be a leader who deals in hope. Commit to being a leader who restores hope, not just because a tragedy has occurred, but each and every day of your life.
Let us never forget. Let us never lose hope.
Let us unite as leaders who are filled with hope and committed to bringing that hope to a world that is searching for it.