Never Ever Give Up Hope


“If it’s me reading the signs…” –Tiffany, from “Silver Linings Playbook”



It’s been a rough week. I’m clearly weary. I think a lot of us might be clearly weary. Outa juice, power, steam. Some days I feel like throwing my hands up in the air and saying, “Okay, I give. I’m ready to cry uncle—aunts, brothers, sisters, cousins, second cousins, neighbors, the mailman, mailman’s dog, Skippy.”


Honestly, there are some moments I just feel like giving up. This is not a cry for help or sympathy, just a vulnerable admission of a very human emotion.


We woke to the news today of the wildfires in Northern California. A week ago there was the deadliest mass shooting in US history. Horrifying. Before that, a string of terrifying events—hurricanes, earthquakes, ongoing threats of nuclear war. It feels like the world’s gone insane. I feel utterly spent by the news.


I wasn’t even in Vegas and I know how devastated I have been this past week, trying to emotionally recover. Today was my first day “back in the saddle” after a few weeks of distraction, also known as weary laziness. My “saddle” is my morning routine of spiritual practice and physical exercise. When I fall off with those, I fall off.


So this morning before sunrise, I made the decision to do what I know is good for me—to have a quiet time of solitude, music, prayer, reading, meditation. Then, I climbed onto my bike saddle and headed up the hill and out of my neighborhood. Soon after I got to my path, I came up behind a woman wearing a tee-shirt that read, “Never ever give up.”


When I returned from my ride, I noticed in the mirror the thrasher tee shirt I had thrown on earlier. It had “HOPE” across the front. I was wearing it, without realizing the message on my chest.


I thought of a few months back when I was in a similar emotional place and felt clearly weary, out of power. The trigger event occurred at the same time we were having a power outage in our home. Oddly enough, all but one plug in the entire house was working. (Yep, this seemed to be quite the metaphor.)


I had just washed my hair and taken the dryer to that one outlet behind the microwave in the corner of the kitchen. I plugged it in, began to dry my hair, looked up and saw the “Never never never give up” sign I’d hung in the recessed place in my kitchen ceiling, years before. Had the power not been out and had that not been the only working plug, I would have not seen the sign, that visual reminder to never give up. Never, not ever.



I finished drying my hair, got dressed to go to the grocery store. As I was pulling out of the garage, I heard the words on the radio, from the song “Calling All Angels,” repeated: “I won’t give up, if you don’t give up.”



On my email signature line, below my contact information, I quote the great philosopher, Bob Wiley from the movie, “What About Bob?” Bob, in all his wisdom and tenacious resilience, said, “I just never gave up hope.”


Good enough for Bob, good enough for me. I won’t give up, I’ll look up. I’ll look for the signs. They seem to be everywhere.