Wishes, hopes and regrets (or: where’s the magic?)

This week, we were up to the unit on conditionals, and I noticed the caption Wish and Hope in the class activity book.

My imagination went wild immediately; although, be honest:  isn’t the topic of wishes and hopes enough to make any introverted, creative individual diverge into an ecstatic reverie?

Wishes… hopes… palm trees swaying in the breeze… idyllic moments in the hammock… refreshing breezes blowing off a turquoise Caribbean Sea…

Oops! Back to Quebec City, minus 20 degrees and icy snow blowing outside. Reality check!

“Oh well, we’ll have an interesting discussion together anyhow!”, I mused, and diverted my attention back to the class about to begin.

The Conversation Muse was favourable, and the students immediately got into the mood and started answering the questions that were written on the whiteboard: What do you wish? What do you hope?

But what’s the difference?”, one asked, stumped, after misusing the word wish.

Wish and Hope: Non-Identical Twins

We began brainstorming on the subtle difference between the two.

Wish – a desire or ‘blessing’, generally less likely to be fulfilled (e.g. I wish you a Merry Christmas! I wish I were a millionaire.)

Hope – a desire for the future, more likely, feasible. (e.g. I hope we get a lot of snow this winter. I hope to travel the world one day.)

This led us to talk about past events, in which wish can also express a regret.

Regrets, the shattered shards of shiny wishes and hopes that somehow weren’t fulfilled.

Ah regrets! Now there was an interesting topic to get into with a group of adults!

I wish I hadn’t had the accident.”, contributed a student who had experienced a collision that Monday.

Another student refused to admit what she wished. It was just too personal nature to share. We all laughed, totally understanding her reticence.

Who doesn’t have regrets?”, we commiserated together.

Regrets, the shattered shards of shiny wishes and hopes that somehow weren’t fulfilled.

The promise of When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are. When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true, broken.

Life is not like in Disney!”, a student concluded with a guffaw, albeit, a sad guffaw.

So, where’s the magic? 

The magic was operating. As each class member shared a regret, the sympathetic listeners began asking questions and encouraging comments, as though to somehow restore the sharer’s hope.

Why didn’t you do it? Why didn’t it work out? Is it really too late?

And ain’t that the truth?!

It has been said: As long as there is life, there is hope.

And there is. There is always today. Makes me wonder:

  • What do you wish?
  • What do you hope?
  • What are your regrets?

I like the following quote by Michael J. Fox:

Image result for there's always failure. There's always loss.

So, that leaves one last question to ponder:

  • What can you do today to start moving towards the fulfillment of a wish or hope?

Drop me a line in the Comments section! I’d love to hear from you.

– Claire :o)

Author: Claire Maria Ford

Welcome to ESL MIXOLOGIST, where life, language and learning come to together in a heady cognitive cocktail! I hope you enjoy this mélange of thoughts, ideas, and resources. Cheers!

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