By Robin Kaye
Over the years I’ve learned that hope is what you have when there is nothing else you can possibly do to change the situation. I get this when it comes to world peace—there is nothing I can do to keep people in the Middle East from slaughtering each other. My only option is to hope and pray that they do.
On a personal level, I’m not a big believer in hope. I know, that sounds awful doesn’t it? It’s like wishing on a star. As a little kid, I hoped for a lot. I hoped things would get better, I hoped we didn’t have to move again, I hoped I wouldn’t get in trouble for every blessed thing I ever did wrong. I wasted a lot of time hoping. It never worked.
When I was nine, I hoped for horseback riding lessons. Actually, I’d been hoping for that for years and when I was nine, I finally gave up. Hope just wasn’t cutting it. The only way I’d ever have riding lessons was if I could somehow get the money to pay for them. I asked my mom for the money—something I never did before or since—and she laughed and told me to get a job. A job. At nine. Okay, so I looked through the want ads and found a job selling doughnuts door to door. Every Friday a guy would drop off a huge quantity of packaged doughnuts and I’d go to work. I’d take them to the synagogues and churches, sell what I could, and then I’d go door to door until I sold the rest minus whatever my sister would steal. I was making $150 a weekend easy. That was a hell of a lot of money when I was nine. It was also a heck of a lot of work, but I had no problem paying for my riding lessons. Five years later, I bought myself a sailboat—for that, I cleaned five houses a week for what seemed like eternity.
Now I look at friends who hope their lives will change, they hope their marriages will get better, they hope their kids will behave. All the time they’re hoping, they’re just going on with their lives, doing the same thing they’ve always done, and waiting for a different and better result.
I want to yell at them that hope doesn’t do squat. The only time that hope works is when it’s followed up with a hell of a lot of work—when you’ve given it your all.
Now work, that is something I can get behind.