Originally posted on Medium

— Written by Mazu CEO, Janice Taylor

Without hope what do we really have? I may have knowledge, but knowledge devoid of hope lacks inspiration. The logics of the world will shout, “we have our minds” — knowledge is power, we can think our way to a better tomorrow. Yet hope is not about your thoughts. Hope is about how you feel. That despite all you see, think, know, and learn, can you still FEEL that all is possible. Hope has its roots in your feeling body (a place too few feel comfortable).

During my psychology degree, one professor had a great impact on me. Her love of Humanistic Psychology has its roots in empathy. The ability to feel what the patient may be feeling and ultimately have the patient dig into that feeling to reach their own conclusion. We would listen to tapes of patients speaking of their truths, and often the conclusion was that during their sadness they had lost hope. Yet through reconnecting with their feelings they found hope again.

I remember my mother saying that she had no hope. That the hope she knew left with the car, and us with nothing. That day her hope was zapped.

As a child of the village I would sit at tables with families from all over the world. All of them had very little in any monetary or materialistic sense, but Canada gave them hope for a new future. I would look at their bright faces and I could say unequivocally they had a feeling of hope. Yet for my mother, hope was hard to find when you have a mountain of bills to pay and 3 kids to feed.

Despite all I witnessed, I believed that hope was my internal guide, my friend in the storm, and the eternal part of my being. I was not exposed to any religion as a child. I was a latchkey kid raised by a village of families from different cultures. This intimate look into their lives showed me that the true commonality was hope.

A question I often get asked as a CEO is: How did I change my environment, my circumstances?

My answer is always: “I had hope.”

When selecting this core value for Mazu, it was met with criticism from my staff. Their realist point of view felt it to be passive in the face of action. It got me thinking, why are we afraid to feel? To feel vulnerable? To be real? To be honest? Why do we need to be realists? It led me to one singular thought: At one time, perhaps hope betrayed us. We did not get what we thought we deserved, wanted, or was rightfully ours. We left that feeling part of ourselves behind.

Wounds are like that. We use logic to outthink them and we use realism to protect ourselves from disappointment. Hope does not have a home in logic because it is admitting to yourself you really don’t know something, and that my friends is too exposing. But I know we need hope in our lives.

Our age of knowing is reaching an all time high. We know, reveal, talk, and demand answers to everything. We stuff our brains with so much content and knowledge. Yet we have never been more sad, more angry as a society. Our social media feeds are full of knowledge. Full of content all making you more informed. Yet it fuels skepticism, doubt, and most of all fear. How’s all that logical knowledge working for you? Does it make you more hopeful about your life? What do we need to do to remove that fear and bring back hope?

Hope is beyond you, and quite frankly most of our population is so busy being right and knowledgeable that our arrogance is blocking and numbing our feelings. We feel we can control our outcomes, design our futures. I think therefore I am. But are you?

New Age self-help has convinced a vast number of people that thinking will get you what you want, yet when you don’t think, what then? What about your feelings? Your true ones? The ones buried deep in your heart. Are you brave enough to give up control to hope? To admit you really don’t have all the answers.

In the Four Agreements, Don Ruiz stated so eloquently that all human beings ultimately believe we are not enough. Brené Brown talked of the true need to be vulnerable so that we can feel our feelings and know in our heart that we are enough. Hope has roots in your worthiness. Do you believe you are worthy? Do you FEEL hope? You cannot think your way to hope — you feel your way there. Hope rests on the feeling that you know in your heart, you are enough. If any part is blocked, wounded, or numbed, hope is harder to find. In technology no AI in the world can manifest hope. Despite all our best efforts, there is no algorithm for hope.

At Mazu, we are not here to tell you how to think, but we are here to create a space of love. To give love. To learn to receive love. To create a Digital Village for our children, as reflected back to my own roots and my real-life village that thrived on hope. Immigrant families beginning a new life in Canada with so much uncertainty, yet filled to the brim with hope. They did not know the language, the culture, the norms, or the education system. Their knowledge was limited, but they had hope.

For me, most days hope was all I had. But WOW what a force it was. I believed that somewhere, somehow, I deserved a chance at a great life. That if I worked hard and stayed true to my core values I could make something out of my life. Hope was my dearest friend.

Of all the values we aim to teach children here on Mazu, and for all the families that join this movement, it is with a hopeful heart as the CEO of this company that I write to you. In today’s world of knowledge, we have lost parts of that inner unknowing, that faith that we are all in it together. As friends on this life journey we are connected and part of a world we don’t always understand. We may not see all the paths ahead, but I hope we can pave a new future.

Hope is our fuel here at Mazu. A talented team of unique individuals, yet we come to work each day, hopeful to Awaken Families with Love. Join Mazu.

We can create hope together.

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