By Emily Dickinson
HOPE is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul,
and sings the tune—without the words,
and never stops at all.
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land,
and on the strangest sea;
yet, never, in extremity,
it asked a crumb of me.
"Despair looks for excuses not to act and always finds them. Hope, its opposite, always chooses to act. It's in for good and whole hog. Even if the odds seem insurmountable and the resources inadequate. If all it has is five loaves and two small fish, or five smooth stones, or a wheelbarrow and a holocaust cloak, it will use whatever its got.
To hope is to act, and to act is to hope. As someone once wrote, hope 'never stops at all.' "
--Fred Clark, "The Sin of Despair"