Thinking about the theme of hope, many things come to mind, but oddly enough a line from The Hunger Games resonates with me. “Hope: it is the only thing stronger than fear.”

I’m not one to focus on negativity but I also realize I can’t simply ignore it. It’s no secret that over the past months, many atrocities have been committed to harm and terrorize innocent people. Let me give pause to mention that I know it hasn’t only been over this past month and it hasn’t only been focused on one region or against one people, but rather across the board. My heart goes out to all those who have suffered and continue to suffer. I know there are no words I can say that can ease the pain you feel, but please know that we see you, we feel you because at the end of the day we are all connected.

I know that for many, moments like these make us question, wonder, lose faith or worst of all – lose hope. While we may know that acts of terror and hate are actions of the extremely weak – the pain that comes from them can make us begin to give up. A person who signs up for a life of inflicting terror and pain believes that fear is one of the strongest things in the world. What they don’t realize however is that there is one thing that can defeat fear – and that is HOPE. Fear may seem unbeatable but it is built on deep seeded weakness and weakness has no foundation. Terror is simply an attempt to rid someone of their most valuable possession – HOPE. However, by holding true to hope and faith in humanity – fear stands NO chance, not by a long shot.

I borrow words from Jewel who so beautifully puts it:

If I could tell the world just one thing
It would be – that we’re all ok.
And not to worry, cause worry is wasteful
And useless in times like these.

I won’t be made useless
Won’t be idle with despair
Will gather myself around my faith
For light does the darkness most fear.

“Light does the darkness most fear” – POWERFUL WORDS and so very true. Let me say this loud and clear – “Darkness, Fear, Terror – you have NO CHANCE of taking us down. Not now, not ever. Hope is our foundation and our walls are fortified with kindness, love, faith, truth, and PURPOSE.” I’ll take my message a step further, for those trying to find their purpose – you will never find what you’re looking for in the darkness. It may promise a sense of belonging, but ask yourself the question: what and who do you want to belong to? I say belong to yourself first, love yourself first, understand your value – and I promise you others will see your value. Never act out of pain, act only out of strength.

To those out there who are on the brink of losing hope – I ask you to hold on. We need each and every one of us to push out the darkness and each of you shines brightly in your own way. Darkness isn’t a person or thing, after all people are amazing, unique and each person has something to bring into this world. However, darkness finds solace and comfort by feeding on the fears of people and it slyly enters into people’s psyche to cause chaos and wreak havoc. I think the most powerful way to rid the world of darkness is to bring acknowledgment and give voice to the light that shines within each person. So, over the course of this month look inward and look outward to spot those who may be down on themselves or down on their luck and help lift them out with words of hope, compassion and empathy. By choosing to speak words of hope you will find that you yourself will gain that hope that you may be seeking.

Want to see how Life Vest Inside has taken the power of hope to a whole new level!? Check out Project Hope Exchange, an amazing initiative through LVI and A2A giving people the unique opportunity to Give Hope and Get Hope all in 30 seconds.

We collect, aggregate and share 30-sec audio messages of hope from individuals that have been through some kind of adversity to others who are currently facing that same adversity.

As mentioned, we all know what it’s like to experience adversity; every one of us in is his and her own way. But even more so, we all know what it feels like to need a bit of hope when it seems like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

My passion for hope was sparked after a fire broke out in my house at age 15. Just one of the many bumps in the road that led me to a place of depression and devoid of hope. But a promise I made to myself to see people the way I wished someone would have seen me is what drives me to building a world of hope and kindness every day.

Head to the platform to record or listen to a message of hope or send a message of hope to someone you think may need a reminder that they are not alone!