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Don’t Hope,… Decide!

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

{ 209 comments… add one }
  • Victor February 6, 2012, 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

  • Nainam February 2, 2012, 12:13 pm

    Nice one

  • Ahmadu Ayuba February 2, 2012, 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.

  • YUSUF January 31, 2012, 5:36 pm

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

  • Arti Sunar January 24, 2012, 7:15 am

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

  • Criss Angel January 23, 2012, 10:20 am

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

  • Seerat January 12, 2012, 6:06 am

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

  • Gray January 11, 2012, 11:56 am

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

  • Prasad Jachak January 8, 2012, 12:03 pm

    Really nice one…….wow…

  • Sana December 22, 2011, 9:25 am

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

  • Saywhat December 21, 2011, 6:16 am

    Very nice story, true too.

  • Andleeb November 30, 2011, 10:37 am

    wow great story.. I have decided too πŸ˜€

  • Abu Bashar November 30, 2011, 5:30 am

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

  • Brenda E~ November 20, 2011, 3:17 am

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

  • Bijesh November 18, 2011, 5:35 am

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

  • Jigyasa November 4, 2011, 3:56 am

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

  • Santos. November 4, 2011, 3:32 am

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

  • Sarah R. November 3, 2011, 5:52 am

    Utterly Amazing! I’ve reconsidered & decided πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing.
    Be blessed.

  • Nancy October 28, 2011, 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

  • Johnnedel Medriano October 21, 2011, 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. πŸ™‚

  • nikhat October 17, 2011, 1:33 am

    Such a nice story…

  • Tek Chand Batra October 16, 2011, 5:36 am

    I have decided…

  • Santosh October 15, 2011, 4:35 am

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

  • Jo September 19, 2011, 2:49 am

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

  • Odwera September 18, 2011, 9:47 am

    Wonderful story.

  • Rise September 16, 2011, 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.

  • Charles Umeh August 25, 2011, 11:15 pm

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

  • Gaurav_Luthra August 20, 2011, 9:46 am

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

  • Ben August 17, 2011, 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

  • Ali July 31, 2011, 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.

  • mai July 26, 2011, 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.

  • Jack July 20, 2011, 11:34 am

    Hope after hardwork, never fails.

  • hadhiya July 9, 2011, 6:47 am

    just loved it…………….

  • Sukanya July 8, 2011, 7:05 am

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

  • Monika July 6, 2011, 10:27 am

    Veryyyyyyyyyyyy nice story….loved it……

  • Sneha Tomar June 18, 2011, 9:32 am

    It is a great story, seriously loved it.

  • swathi June 15, 2011, 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..

  • aditi May 18, 2011, 10:10 am

    wowww………really nice

  • priyanka May 11, 2011, 1:38 pm

    It’s just great! Very moving and inspirational.

  • Robin May 6, 2011, 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.

  • MOHIT May 1, 2011, 6:24 am

    a very amazing story and beautifully told..

  • Naresh April 25, 2011, 11:51 pm

    Soul awakening story….really inspirational.

  • jeyaraj April 23, 2011, 12:22 am

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

    Thank you.

  • khader April 20, 2011, 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……

  • satish April 18, 2011, 11:43 am


  • Amit April 14, 2011, 7:08 am

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

  • lily April 10, 2011, 9:30 pm

    perfect’s the word I’d use!

  • sneha March 28, 2011, 3:27 am

    Loved it….. I am sure I’ll get same experience… πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    damn sure about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Vijay March 25, 2011, 12:30 pm

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

  • victoria February 25, 2011, 4:43 am

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

  • Vincent Paul January 31, 2011, 6:37 pm

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

  • Thamja January 25, 2011, 11:38 pm


  • Sriveni December 13, 2010, 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……….

  • Braktor December 9, 2010, 9:12 am

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

  • Bhargavi December 7, 2010, 1:31 pm

    Awesome story. I have DECIDED…..

  • Antony December 2, 2010, 2:33 am

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

  • Ankita November 28, 2010, 5:23 am

    Very nice!!!

  • Manu November 18, 2010, 6:52 am

    Really nice.

  • Wins November 16, 2010, 12:31 am

    Thanks for these cool stories.. =)

  • Nammy November 14, 2010, 1:54 am

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

  • Aamir khan. October 6, 2010, 1:44 pm

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

  • Subhasmita Satapathys September 22, 2010, 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….

  • Radhe August 13, 2010, 11:02 pm

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

  • KriaHzY July 7, 2010, 8:24 am

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

  • Purva February 6, 2010, 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.

  • Pepsi January 26, 2010, 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.

  • Dissef January 14, 2010, 5:06 am

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

  • Csunnn November 27, 2009, 6:13 pm

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

  • Hala November 7, 2009, 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!

  • niTin October 12, 2009, 7:43 am

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

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

    Awsome. Gives us more moral values …………

  • Deashana September 20, 2009, 5:15 am

    What a cool story……………………

  • Gigsta June 25, 2009, 3:35 am

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

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

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

  • M@M February 17, 2009, 1:10 am

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

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