How the Sci­ence of Hope Can Change Your Life

Foreword Reviews - - Foresight | Self-help -

Casey Gwinn, Chan Hell­man, Mor­gan James Pub­lish­ing (NOVEM­BER) Soft­cover $17.95 (288pp) 978-1-68350-965-3

For all those who have come to think of hope as an im­po­tent wish, a vague, flimsy idea that things will be bet­ter in the fu­ture, this book brings good news: Hope is real. It’s mea­sur­able. It has life-sav­ing power. And it can be learned.

Casey Gwinn and Chan Hell­man call hope a sci­ence. It’s made of strong stuff, of goals and the willpower and path­ways to achieve them. And they re­port ev­i­dence for hope’s power: nearly two thou­sand stud­ies pub­lished over the last twenty years all found hope to be “the sin­gle best pre­dic­tor of well-be­ing com­pared to any other mea­sures of trauma re­cov­ery.”

Hav­ing per­son­ally ex­pe­ri­enced hope’s trans­for­ma­tive power, Gwinn and Hell­man lament the hope­less­ness they see in Amer­ica to­day. They cite re­ports show­ing that less than one-half of Amer­i­can chil­dren are hope­ful and that med­i­cal is­sues and men­tal ill­ness are on the rise. Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and mass shoot­ings ter­ror­ize homes and com­mu­ni­ties and, ac­cord­ing to CDC es­ti­mates, sui­cide oc­curs at the rate of one ev­ery six­teen min­utes.

But there is an an­ti­dote to fear and dis­tress: the sci­ence and lan­guage of hope. Hope Ris­ing is filled with riv­et­ing sto­ries of trauma over­come through the power of hope and presents an in­spir­ing vi­sion for a cul­ture of hope that would trans­form our civil and crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem, pris­ons, the mil­i­tary, men­tal health fa­cil­i­ties, se­nior liv­ing cen­ters, and schools. Gwinn and Hell­man have al­ready seen young lives trans­formed through Camp Hope, their camp­ing and men­tor­ing pro­gram for chil­dren im­pacted by do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

Main­tain­ing hope in times of cri­sis is hard work, but it’s worth it. “If you ap­ply the sci­ence of hope to your life, it will change you,” they write. “If you em­brace the lan­guage of hope, you will talk dif­fer­ently, act more in­ten­tion­ally, and live your life with greater pur­pose than you ever have be­fore.”

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