Our conversation on the word “wish” will continue, but we wanted to look back at some of the comments and perspectives that have come in so far.
Several of our contributors, like Anne B, wrote about the things they wish for, and these comments related to their wish for a world, and their lives, to be cancer-free. In a comment on Angela D’s post, “A Wish is a Dream”, Tara explained very clearly the solidarity in this wish for freedom from the condition:
“It is my wish for [my mother] and all women affected by this monstrosity. She will never fight alone.”
Despite lots of positive expressions of support for each other across the community, there were some writers on the word wish who suggested that wishing is not always only a positive act. William K’s poem includes a section which suggests wishing can lead to not living in the moment:
“Wise men wish
For whatever happens.
Fools waste today
For dreams tomorrow.”
Theresa M points out that good wishes from friend and family can also lead to less “honesty and candor”, as they tell her “how great she looks”, when she doesn’t feel that way.
Physician Don D points out that there is a important connection between the words wish and hope. Janice H agrees, writing that “It’s human nature to need something to help us cope with cancer, so why not wishes?” Pushing this point further still, Meg C argues that the hope that wishing can give a patient or family member is essentially a tool of empowerment:
“No matter how hard I try to fashion things just the way I want them to be, the universe reminds me that much of it is out of my control. That’s where the wishing comes in handy. By throwing a wish into the wind, I am given a sense of potential power in situations where I may otherwise have none”
In this way wishing is really important for many people, as wishes (as Wendy K puts it) “are birthed from the need to overcome apparent struggles and also to give hope to others, [so] we must recognize that we are the driving force that puts forth the effort to attain the wishes for others and ourselves.”
As usual, we’ve also created a word cloud for this discussion, which allows us to see what the most common words from all the conversation about wish have been. Bigger words on the word cloud have been used most often, and smaller ones less often. (We filtered out the keywords “cancer” and “wish” from the cloud, since they were used so many times).
Please add your comments below about what you think this word cloud shows us that wish can mean.