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The Virtue of Hope:
The Thing With Feathers

By: The Good & True Team

The poet Emily Dickinson said, “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in your soul.” We have hope that something positive will emerge from the rubble of our present difficulties, faith that goodness will reign in our lives. Like the poet’s “thing with feathers,” like the wise old owl of the night fluttering his wings as a foretaste of the flight to come, hope offers its solace and comfort in the worst of our suffering, its joy in support of our dreams and visions for a day to come …its cautious but welcomes flight toward tomorrow.

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in your soul.

- Emily Dickinson

People with genuine hope walk through life with a livelier step. They are better able and more equipped to find meaning in their existence. So, though hope is an intimation of future experience, it has everything to do with the quality of life right now, at this very moment. Samuel Johnson once said, “Hope is itself a species of happiness, and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords.” And just as a child anticipates events in his or her life like Christmas and their birthday, so does that child have a vested interest in the prospect of good things to come. As parents we hedge our bets and do what we can to assure a sense of accomplishment and meaning in our child’s daily existence. Yet, how wonderful it is when a child can’t wait for that special day to come with the joy it may hold but despite the challenges that may come along with it.

Hope can be a balm for those suffering under their own grief or sadness. Children might perhaps be better suited to surrender to the call of hope when sorrow is reigning in a family’s life. Our psychological baggage sometimes gets in the way. Experience tells us that relief will come; we just don’t know when. To feel the healing time ahead in a special way is a gift to be cultivated. It helps us glimpse the future while flavoring the present with a contemplation of the goodness we believe life holds.


Written by The Good & True Staff



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