Peddlers of Hope

(My thanks to Johnny Mac in Rhode Island for introducing me to the phrase “Peddlers of Hope”, which I have gone on to use quite extensively in my training on effective housing-based case management.)

We are peddlers of hope. Hope for those who feel no ability to hope. Providers of hope who need a bit more to get to the next stage of recovery. Champions of tomorrows, not yesterdays.

Our hope is not blind. It is not unrealistic. It is not a panacea for pain. Hope does not erase history, it merely provides the opportunity to recover and grow from it.

Hope is not a promise, but it is less than delusional dream. It is the fuel that makes life turn out more positively than it currently is, anchored in who we are and the capabilities as a person. We can speak a language of hope because we have seen so many take brave steps out of catastrophe or excruciating illness to tackle the empty feelings in their heart.

We can’t touch hope. But we know it exists.

We can’t create one roadmap of how to turn hope into a journey towards better days. We know that hope lends itself to a person journey.

We know that hope is more than just one thing. Hope is many things…a plan, a feeling, an attitude, motivation, belief in self, protection from more misery.

What makes us a peddler is our desire to spread hope widely and universally.  We are persistent in our approach to being hopeful about hope.

Too often we keep people looking backwards, not forwards. “Tell me your story…”; “Tell me what happened…”;”And then what…”  The past creates a picture of the present, but as peddlers of hope we need to then focus the discussion into the future. “What will your story be…”

Ours is not a false hope. Ours is not another promise to be broken. Our is not a guarantee that everything will be alright.

Crippled by remorse and shame, we can exude positivity in appropriate doses to help others see the power of hope. Devastated by broken promises and shattered relationships, we can exude positivity in appropriate doses to help others see the power of hope. Hurting from self-inflicted harm to person or spirit, we can exude positivity in appropriate doses to help others see the power of hope.

As a peddler of hope, we know that hope is intentional. As a peddler of hope, we embrace the possibilities that can realistically occur. As a peddler of hope, share the desire for better things to happen – and provide the fuel to make that possible when the individual/family has no hope of her/his own.

About Iain De Jong

Iain is a playful nerd, hellbent on ending homelessness, increasing affordable housing, creating vibrant communities, and expanding the knowledge amongst leaders that influence social issues. Having held senior management and professional positions in government, non-profits, and the private sector, Iain has a wealth of experience and has garnered dozens of awards for his work across Canada and internationally. His work has taken him across Canada, the United States, and to Australia. In 2009, Iain joined OrgCode as its President & CEO, and in 2014 assumed full ownership of the firm. In addition to his work with OrgCode, Iain holds a part-time faculty position in the Graduate Urban Planning Programme at York University.


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