Spes sibi quisque” / “Each one his own hope.” ~Virgil, a favorite saying of Henry David Thoreau

Your survival, your success in life depend on YOU — not because you can succeed “on your own” (most certainly, you cannot) or because you should survive “on your own” (most certainly, you will not) but because Hope resides within us all.

We are each our own Hope. YOU are your own Hope.

Meet Ted Williams

I was blown away yesterday morning by the story of Ted Williams, a homeless man from Ohio who became a viral Internet sensation after a brief, passing exchange with a reporter from the Columbus Dispatch. In the video, Williams’ self-described “God-given” voice booms with distinction, power and invitation — the prototypical sound of a radio talk show host, and one that any of us might hear when driving in our cars.

In a matter of hours, Williams went from a destitute and desperate life of obscurity, sadness, but above all else, hope; to one of fame, inspiration, and humanity that we oft forget when looking into the faces of strangers on the street.

The story of Ted Williams is far from over. I hope and pray that his life remains on this remarkable and blessed trajectory as a story of perseverance, overcoming and inspiration to others across the world. But beyond that, and in spite of how little we know of this man, who we’ve only met in short video clips over several days; who bears the name of a Boston baseball legend; whose “God-given” voice is so distinct and powerful; Ted Williams today shines as example of Hope.

Ted Williams should both remind and educate us all that each person is his or her own Hope. Did any but Mr. Williams believe in himself before his astronomic rise to sudden fame and recognition? Perhaps others did — but his survival and success could not have ever been made real if Mr. Williams did not first live with himself as his own Hope.

Spes Sibi Quisque

We are each, ourselves, a powerhouse: a Being of energy, fight and light. We possess this unique power — power from within — in spite of the common difficulty we all have to see it and feel it, especially amid long days and dark nights. Life gets in the way. We get spun up in our heads; our minds race incessantly. We forget the nature of our Being. Our consciousness slips into rambling, nonsensical diatribe — a long-winded and never-ending dialogue that only ceases when our brains rest in sleep!

But we can break this spell, with practice and by our choosing. We always retain the ability to break free from ourselves and our minds, because each of us — independently from any other person or thing — is our own Hope. Hope is a flame that burns within the human spirit. The flame is never extinguished; many neglect to accept it, many choose to ignore it, many are desperate to see its glow and feel its warmth but struggle to find any sign of its presence.

Hope’s flame burns with each beating heart. It flickers in every breath.

Hope is the beginning point, not the finish line. And although our perceptions of “survival” and “success” are usually only connected to “end goals” — making it until the latest and greatest possible destination — in so many ways, survival and success are beginning points, themselves.

They are starting points because they each must start with you — they must each start with you as your own Hope.