Five queries for anyone

Sketch of a woman's thoughtful face

The queries are for you, your family and friends, your community, or your cause.

They’re queries, not so much for answering as for dwelling on.

You can ponder them on a walk, on the bus, while cooking, waiting at the doctor’s, whatever.

They make for a good conversation too.

1. What are you living for?

What do you love? Whom do you love? (Not like but love.) If you can, keep going — get to thirty things you love.

What do they have in common?

What you love can simply mean what you commit to.

What are you committed to, actually? How does this show up in how you live and work?

2. What are you thankful for?

As you move into the future, whom do you have with you? Who stands by you?

What else do you have on your side?

It might not be much, but are you glad of it? Can you be thankful for it? Try saying ‘Thank you.’ (Actually say it, rather than just think it.)

3. What is hard to face?

As you picture the future, what is difficult to face? What hard truth is hard to accept?

What will be difficult to overcome? Many things, perhaps, but just focus on one. Can you accept that it is hard? Try saying, ‘I accept that.’

4. What do you need?

To move forward, what do you need? Not only want, but really can’t do without.

How much of what you need is already with you?

Can you say, ‘I have everything I need for now, we have everything we need for now?’ If so, do. If not, what is missing?

5. What now?

Perhaps, having pondered these queries, you feel a little closer to what you’re living for and what you’re thankful for. Maybe you feel a little more ready to accept what is hard and to look for what you still need to face the future well.

So the last query is, what do you need to do next?

What one thing do you do now that you can commit to to keep doing? What one thing do you need to do differently?

That’s hope’s work.

Looking to go a little deeper? Try these queries for cultivating hope.



‘To hope’, from Old English hopian, to trust, to hold faith. Origin unknown, poss from hoffen, to hop, to leap.

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