Hopefulness is a mental condition in which we expect good results of certain happenings and situations, and feel happy about them. Optimism is a way of thinking which makes us look at the bright side of different situations and makes us expect the best possible results.
What is hope if we can describe it psychologically? According to William McDougall, it is one of the greatest forces that operate in the mind something that enters into the structure of the character.
Hope is in fact associated with desire and love. Tennyson wrote of “the mighty hope that makes us…”
Let us consider the general causes of hopefulness or optimism. Firstly, the qualities that a child inherits (gets at birth) from his parents and forefathers determine his mental condition a great deal. There are some qualities like hopefulness, cheerfulness, peaceful nature, hopelessness, sorrowfulness, quarrelsomeness, and so on, which are part of one’s nature.
Secondly, family life at home is, largely, responsible for our hopeful or hopeless attitude towards life. If a child is born into a peaceful, happy and contented (satisfied) family, it can grow up into a boy or girl with an optimistic or hopeful outlook on life. With happiness and hope all around in the home, Chow can a member of the family avoid being hopeful in life?
Thirdly, the social conditions (environment) in which a person lives affect his feelings and thinking a lot. If a person lives in a very backward part of the country with narrow roads, broken houses and dirty markets, he will naturally not feel socially satisfied. If, on the other hand, the social surroundings are favorable and the people are happy and satisfied, one living amidst them will also feel happy.
Fourthly, the chance of progress in society, employment opportunities, expanding housing facilities and a proper price level keep all the people happy and hopeful.
Fifthly, the political situation in the country is a great determinant (something that determines or decides) of the level of general and individual happiness and optimism. Who will not like to have a – strong, stable and efficient political system like that of the US, Britain, Holland or Switzerland?
Social tragedies and natural calamities like fires, accidents, earthquakes, floods, and wars are in plenty. Personal tragedies like diseases and deaths in families are no fewer. Frequent (happening repeatedly crimes and terrorist acts are often unavoidable because of the inner weaknesses of human beings, social mechanisms and the policies of other countries. The people can face these bravely if they have religious faith and moral strength and enjoy social peace and harmony.
Thus, we can say that high hopes and expectations are the results of complex social and personal causes. Of course, we can never be hopeful if we are not inwardly satisfied and socially happy.