“You may have no outward cause whatever for sorrow, and yet if the mind be dejected, the brightest sunshine will not relieve your gloom.” – C. Spurgeon
People need hope for a variety of reasons. They could be suffering from some kind of illness, disease, abuse or injury that affects their physical being—even their life. They could be suffering from more internal factors such as depression, addiction, fear, or other assorted trouble.
These forms of harm can be physical, psychological, or spiritual, but they are often found in multiples. Harm is dynamic, and people are not always aware of all of the ways that they are suffering, beyond the most obvious. It is not always clear when someone—even someone close—might be lacking hope, as outward symptoms aren’t the only indicators of a hope deficiency.
In addition to those who are suffering, there are also those who are walking beside them. They want to help them in all the ways that they need help—through psychological, spiritual, or material support.
Hope is the belief that things will improve from their current state. It is "the door out of the blackness of depression and despair." - Richard Winter
Seeing this video today reminded me of how difficult life is for people going through all manner of trials, and it made me want to weep for them.
In our various efforts to reach people, we do humanity a great disservice if we are looking only to what we get out of it. We ought to desire putting ourselves in the shoes of those around us, understanding their points of view and the various baggage they bring to the experience we are designing.
How can we foster hope?
“Desponding people can find reason for fear where no fear is.” They “convert [their] suspicions into realities and torture.” - Spurgeon
“Like other issues of mental health, we don’t talk about depression. If we do, we either whisper as if the subject is scandalous or rebuke it as if it’s a sin. No wonder many of us don’t seek help; for when we do, those who try to help only add to the shame of it all.” - Zack Eswine
Compassion is a key component of design. It's best if we remember it is not all about us.
- Cam Beck