Our Pillars – S.P.A.R.K

Pillars can be both foundational and structurally enhancing. They add strength but also beauty. Pillars are often visible to anyone who sees the building. Spark of Hope is built on 5 pillars – these pillars support or undergird the various activities that are undertaken, as well as being visible in all that we do.

The five pillars of Spark of Hope are:

Strength

Purpose

Advocate

Respect

Kindness

1. Strength

Strength, as an attribute is both obvious and subtle. We can all look at a picture of a body builder or athlete and see their obvious power and strength. But strength, as an inner quality, is not always so obvious. We really only appreciate the strength of someone or something until we see them under pressure. The strongman isn’t strong until we see him lift a huge weight.

Human beings are conundrums – we are both strong and weak. We are all stronger than what we think – but it isn’t until we find ourselves under pressure that we see that strength. However, we also weak – but because we live in a world that values strength, we try to hide that weakness – often to our detriment.

Being weak however, should not be seen as a failure – instead it is an opportunity for two things:

  1. Our weakness – if we admit it and reach out for help, enables others, who are strong to reach out and help us. And the exciting thing is that we with our strength, can help others when they are weak.
  2. Our weakness provides opportunities for us to grow and become strong. For some of us, what are now strengths, were once weaknesses.

One of the misnomers about strength is that is brutal – a clench your teeth and push through to the end, type of picture. However, the horse shows us that strength and power can also be beautiful and flowing. The horse is a strong animal yet it also moves with a grace and fluidity that at times masks that power. Strength, when used in the right way, is beautiful and liberating.

2. Purpose

Perhaps, all of us, at one stage or another, have asked ourselves what are we doing – what is our purpose… Purpose brings hope – without purpose, there is no real sense that what we do is worthwhile. It is our belief that everyone has a unique purpose in life – that everyone has something positive that they can contribute to this world. Helping people to discover that purpose can result in a more healthy and positive outlook on life.

3. Advocate

To be an advocate means to be a voice for those who have no voice. To be an advocate requires a degree of understanding and empathy. Many individuals – both animals and humans -sadly need someone to speak up on their behalf. We will seek to be advocate for those who are weak, downtrodden, abused or neglected.

4. Respect

Respect is both earned and given. To respect someone else, we often have to respect ourselves. Respect is nurtured in an environment of understanding and to understand we have to communicate effectively. To show respect  we must be prepared to accept the differences that exist between us.

5. Kindness

Kindness is sadly, an often overlooked value. All too often we associate kindness with weakness. Yet this is not true. True kindness is generous in nature – it seeks to reach out and show compassion. True kindness understands the power of a gentle word or soft touch – it appreciates that for some people these things can bring light into a dark world.

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