Don’t Hope,… Decide!

by Stephen on September 26, 2008 · 195 comments

in Marriage, Motivational Stories

While waiting to pick up a friend at the airport in Portland, Oregon, I had one of those life-changing experiences that you hear other people talk about — the kind that sneaks up on you unexpectedly. This one occurred a mere two feet away from me.

Straining to locate my friend among the passengers deplaning through the jet way, I noticed a man coming toward me carrying two light bags. He stopped right next to me to greet his family.

First he motioned to his youngest son (maybe six years old) as he laid down his bags. They gave each other a long, loving hug. As they separated enough to look in each other’s face, I heard the father say, “It’s so good to see you, son. I missed you so much!” His son smiled somewhat shyly, averted his eyes and replied softly, “Me, too, Dad!”

Then the man stood up, gazed in the eyes of his oldest son (maybe nine or ten) and while cupping his son’s face in his hands said, “You’re already quite the young man. I love you very much, Zach!” They too hugged a most loving, tender hug.

While this was happening, a baby girl (perhaps one or one-and-a-half) was squirming excitedly in her mother’s arms, never once taking her little eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning father. The man said, “Hi, baby girl!” as he gently took the child from her mother. He quickly kissed her face all over and then held her close to his chest while rocking her from side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head on his shoulder, motionless in pure contentment.

After several moments, he handed his daughter to his oldest son and declared, “I’ve saved the best for last!” and proceeded to give his wife the longest, most passionate kiss I ever remember seeing. He gazed into her eyes for several seconds and then silently mouthed. “I love you so much!” They stared at each other’s eyes, beaming big smiles at one another, while holding both hands.

For an instant they reminded me of newlyweds, but I knew by the age of their kids that they couldn’t possibly be. I puzzled about it for a moment then realized how totally engrossed I was in the wonderful display of unconditional love not more than an arm’s length away from me. I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I was invading something sacred, but was amazed to hear my own voice nervously ask, “Wow! How long have you two been married?

“Been together fourteen years total, married twelve of those.” he replied, without breaking his gaze from his lovely wife’s face. “Well then, how long have you been away?” I asked. The man finally turned and looked at me, still beaming his joyous smile. “Two whole days!”

Two days? I was stunned. By the intensity of the greeting, I had assumed he’d been gone for at least several weeks – if not months. I know my expression betrayed me.

I said almost offhandedly, hoping to end my intrusion with some semblance of grace (and to get back to searching for my friend), “I hope my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years!”

The man suddenly stopped smiling.

He looked me straight in the eye, and with forcefulness that burned right into my soul, he told me something that left me a different person. He told me, “Don’t hope, friend… decide!” Then he flashed me his wonderful smile again, shook my hand and said, “God bless!”

- By Michael D. Hargrove and Bottom Line Underwriters, Inc.
Copyright 1997

If you find this story useful, please share with a friend!

{ 195 comments… read them below or add one }

1 M@M February 17, 2009 at 1:10 am

Nice story, just we should learn how to express our love, it doesn’t depend on time…

2 Ndoumah Victor April 2, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Don’t sit day dreaming, get up and work. Eh!, but do the right one!

3 Gigsta June 25, 2009 at 3:35 am

What a nice story!!! keep it up!!

4 Deashana September 20, 2009 at 5:15 am

What a cool story……………………

5 Deashana pillay September 20, 2009 at 5:17 am

Awsome. Gives us more moral values …………

6 niTin October 12, 2009 at 7:43 am

A real good story. It taught us something very important about Love!! Express it…

7 Hala November 7, 2009 at 7:32 am

Oh God, what a beautiful story, it touched me a lot ….. what a great love.

If we decide to live a lovely life we will do it but the hard matter is that the couple together shoud decide that!

8 Csunnn November 27, 2009 at 6:13 pm

This is exactly the relationship that I choose to have. Baby, we’ll make this work.

9 Dissef January 14, 2010 at 5:06 am

It’s fantastic. besides the theme the way that such an important idea has been expressed is noticeable.

10 Pepsi January 26, 2010 at 8:50 am

Well, not everything will go the way we planned. we may decide to do sth, but that sth may turn out to be sth else. however, it’s good if we make decision to do sth our best, regardless of what the outcome would be.

11 Purva February 6, 2010 at 10:27 am

The story is so sweet. It left me a wave of surprise. Each moment is precious with our family-a group of people who are always with us and share joy and sorrow.

12 KriaHzY July 7, 2010 at 8:24 am

a CooL,Nice,sweeT,BeauTiFuL,aweSoMe,FanTasTic anD GooD sToRy…. =D

13 Radhe August 13, 2010 at 11:02 pm

So then, I have decided that me too will have such a passionate love.

14 Subhasmita Satapathys September 22, 2010 at 9:54 am

Very nice story….actually the man loved his wife very much as he expressed his love in the last after his children….this is what is called belongingness……love for his wife is true….

15 Aamir khan. October 6, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Thats quit good specially the expression,of girl child.Writer feel it and we feel it too…

16 Nammy November 14, 2010 at 1:54 am

I decide and not hope that this will happen in my life too..such a real love.

17 Wins November 16, 2010 at 12:31 am

Thanks for these cool stories.. =)

18 Manu November 18, 2010 at 6:52 am

Really nice.

19 Ankita November 28, 2010 at 5:23 am

Very nice!!!

20 Antony December 2, 2010 at 2:33 am

Don’t hope, …….decide ; thanks to make me feel the past….

21 Bhargavi December 7, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Awesome story. I have DECIDED…..

22 Braktor December 9, 2010 at 9:12 am

I decide to hope, FAIL XD. No hope is for people that can’t make a choice!

23 Sriveni December 13, 2010 at 10:21 am

I thought if we hope then the work is half done,,,,,,,,,, after reading this story it is clear that we should not only hope but should decide……….

24 Thamja January 25, 2011 at 11:38 pm


25 Vincent Paul January 31, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Learn to sit back and think about the past (wow).

26 victoria February 25, 2011 at 4:43 am

It sounds like an islland of happiness among our distroying world! I wish everyone had such a wonderful family life!

27 Vijay March 25, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Awsome story..its really touching..i have decided

28 sneha March 28, 2011 at 3:27 am

Loved it….. I am sure I’ll get same experience… :) :)
damn sure about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

29 lily April 10, 2011 at 9:30 pm

perfect’s the word I’d use!

30 Amit April 14, 2011 at 7:08 am

I liked the story, very beautiful. “Dont hope…..just decide.”!

31 satish April 18, 2011 at 11:43 am


32 khader April 20, 2011 at 9:47 am

hmm… it is just awesome….. I don’t have the words to describe but I really like the story……

specially the TITLE……. Dont hope…just decide……

33 jeyaraj April 23, 2011 at 12:22 am

I just cry and realise the true love. Very good situation indeed.

Thank you.

34 Naresh April 25, 2011 at 11:51 pm

Soul awakening story….really inspirational.

35 MOHIT May 1, 2011 at 6:24 am

a very amazing story and beautifully told..

36 Robin May 6, 2011 at 9:23 am

It was good. I am going to meet my mom after 2 years and now i really know the importance of family.

37 priyanka May 11, 2011 at 1:38 pm

It’s just great! Very moving and inspirational.

38 aditi May 18, 2011 at 10:10 am

wowww………really nice

39 swathi June 15, 2011 at 10:58 pm

It’s the last sentence always which gives you the total feel and you were wonderful in giving it.. Really good one..

40 Sneha Tomar June 18, 2011 at 9:32 am

It is a great story, seriously loved it.

41 Monika July 6, 2011 at 10:27 am

Veryyyyyyyyyyyy nice story….loved it……

42 Sukanya July 8, 2011 at 7:05 am

Nice story, I really enjoyed it with the description of love.

43 hadhiya July 9, 2011 at 6:47 am

just loved it…………….

44 Jack July 20, 2011 at 11:34 am

Hope after hardwork, never fails.

45 mai July 26, 2011 at 12:43 am

I’m someone who loves fairytale, and hoping to meet my prince and I would live with him happily ever after.,,, how fool I am, now I know that if I wanted happiness i should just not hope but as well as decide how to acquire such happiness.

46 Ali July 31, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Only hope is waste of time while not struggling to achieve it, so it’s a nice story to bring hope to reality.

47 Ben August 17, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I am very touched by this story, but i am not such a good reader so i could not understand what did he mean by the last words – don’t hope,friend …decide – can pls somebody help me understand what did he mean by that

48 Gaurav_Luthra August 20, 2011 at 9:46 am

wow…..! I am stunned and shocked, Really yar!

49 Charles Umeh August 25, 2011 at 11:15 pm

An expression of the inner you without being scared of the way its perceived. Is the height of it. Beautiful~

50 Rise September 16, 2011 at 3:03 pm

To hope is to be disappointed, it gets you nowhere, only leaves more worry and stress. To act and decide is the best thing to do, if you decide to try your best at everything you do with full determination and commitment is the best way to win.

I find to have hope is not to have full confidence in your abilities, you aren’t confident you will succeed.

51 Odwera September 18, 2011 at 9:47 am

Wonderful story.

52 Jo September 19, 2011 at 2:49 am

Very touchy…. such love is difficult to find these days…

53 Santosh October 15, 2011 at 4:35 am

Fantastic inspirational story…this shows that love never dies infact it increases with the passage of time…..

54 Tek Chand Batra October 16, 2011 at 5:36 am

I have decided…

55 nikhat October 17, 2011 at 1:33 am

Such a nice story…

56 Johnnedel Medriano October 21, 2011 at 9:01 am

Fabulous! ! ! What a great moral. . . I’ve learned my lesson for today. . I am actually in a state of great nervousness the moment I am reading this because this would be the day I am going to be taking in calls in my current job. I am a new hire here and so It is quite stressful. But because of this message, not related to love though, but I’ve made up my mind that I am going to give my best to the calls I am going to be taking in today, I am not just going to hope. . I have made up my mind. . I have to make it. :)

57 Nancy October 28, 2011 at 7:13 am

I have decided here and now to keep the light of love aglow in my marriage no matter how years we have lived together. May God give me the grace…AMEN

58 Sarah R. November 3, 2011 at 5:52 am

Utterly Amazing! I’ve reconsidered & decided :)

Thanks for sharing.
Be blessed.

59 Santos. November 4, 2011 at 3:32 am

Thanks for this great story . From now i have just decided

60 Jigyasa November 4, 2011 at 3:56 am

Wowowow..!!! It is like a fresh air for a relationship seeing hardships…

61 Bijesh November 18, 2011 at 5:35 am

Good one, really changed the thinking………….

62 Brenda E~ November 20, 2011 at 3:17 am

”Don’t hope, friend……decide!” This sentence touched me…..
GREAT story!

63 Abu Bashar November 30, 2011 at 5:30 am

Great story, enjoyed inspired and motivated while reading…..

64 Andleeb November 30, 2011 at 10:37 am

wow great story.. I have decided too :D

65 Saywhat December 21, 2011 at 6:16 am

Very nice story, true too.

66 Sana December 22, 2011 at 9:25 am

Whoa…!!!!!!! I just kept smiling….reading this, it’s really really….nice.. I just loved it !!!!!!

67 Prasad Jachak January 8, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Really nice one…….wow…

68 Gray January 11, 2012 at 11:56 am

I like the moral of this story.. thank you for sharing..

69 Seerat January 12, 2012 at 6:06 am

I love it. It is totally true and the story has the meaningful meaning.

70 Criss Angel January 23, 2012 at 10:20 am

Well honestly speaking i din find the story inspiring although the content was gud.

71 Arti Sunar January 24, 2012 at 7:15 am

Awesome story, the moral of it is really heart touching. Love it.

72 YUSUF January 31, 2012 at 5:36 pm

It is better to take a wrong decision than to hope for what can never be realised

73 Ahmadu Ayuba February 2, 2012 at 10:38 am

Hmm… Though I’m not married yet, I’m jealous of this love. I have now decided to be like him when I’m married.

74 Nainam February 2, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Nice one

75 Victor February 6, 2012 at 6:12 pm

How often we blame things and most time conclude on hope when NOW requires that we decides. The hope we long for is the little decisions of today. I love this story it is… sweet

76 Obinna February 7, 2012 at 5:38 am

What a soul saving story. This is a wonderful one, it can bring a dying love back to life. I love it

77 Obinna February 7, 2012 at 8:18 am

I like this story is rely motivating and can build up too

78 Mike Cimon February 12, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Keep me informed. I love the piece.

79 Chandra shekar February 17, 2012 at 3:58 am


80 Uday Patel February 24, 2012 at 12:21 am

Really superb story.

81 Baba Salisu February 26, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Good stories. Love is life.

82 Balusamy March 8, 2012 at 4:37 am

Is there any such in real life? or only in stories? Really thought provoking. The 4 worded sentence, “Don’t hope, friend….Decide” is excellently built.

83 Bola March 23, 2012 at 9:33 am

I decide today that my marriage will be like that or more…

84 Varsha March 31, 2012 at 2:52 am

WOW!!! Really, at times we realize that somethings need to be decided not hoped…..

85 Cazeil April 2, 2012 at 6:45 am

Thanks for this inspiring story.. ^_^ I’m eager to share this to my hubby..

86 Gregory April 17, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Wow! Now that’s what you call love!

87 Solomon Onokere April 18, 2012 at 2:08 am

Wow, can’t wait to start practicing this in my life.

88 Parampreet Kaur April 19, 2012 at 9:41 am

Wowww, what a beautiful and sweet story. I also have decided to love my beloved throughout my whole life.

89 Shap36 April 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm

It’s really an inspiring story.

90 Janz April 24, 2012 at 2:29 am

I really love this story which has given me tips to value my love… I begin to mis him not only minutes but seconds. Thanks… I am looking for the same ending with my baby.

91 Ananya April 30, 2012 at 1:11 am

Very inspirational & motivational story. Of course the way we think, the same way our life turns out to be, I practically practice it… I hope all of us can utilise this Life’s Secret.

92 Hanna Nyu April 30, 2012 at 1:57 am

..Though I’m still a student reading this made me wish to marry someone just like him someday. Very nice!!!

93 Wabiha Nishath May 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm

It suits me. I always hope to do this, to do that but never did anything. Thanks, this story really inspired me. Great job!!!

94 Dean Samuel May 8, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Wow……… truly outstanding story……. What a soul saving story. This is a wonderful one, it can bring a dying love back to life. I love it

95 Shushmita Parashar May 15, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Awesome story, just loved it!!!

96 Janice May 29, 2012 at 10:56 pm

The word will be a better place if everyone decides the same thing…truly inspirational.

97 Lala June 8, 2012 at 7:11 am

Go ahead………don’t take rest untill u achive ur dream.

98 Digvijay June 17, 2012 at 9:01 am

Nice story…from my side at this point i will say only one thing…
Love is for everyone…that’s call life is
L – Love
I – Is
F – For
E – Everyone

99 Priti Sharma June 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm


100 Joel S Das June 20, 2012 at 1:52 am

Thank you for such a well written article!

“You must take care of love, otherwise it goes bad!” it was said by a 6-year old girl that appeared in the Reader’s Digest many years ago! I have been following this ‘mantra’ in our 36 years of married life and still going so crispy! It means the same – decide and act! How would you ‘take care of love’ is upon you, one has to be unique and industrious!

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