Your Toolkit for Hope

Neil Hawkes
3 min readDec 3, 2023


You will recall that the one thing left in Pandora’s box was hope. If you’re like me, you need hope to be mentally energised, so that you are free from despair.

May I share with you one of the elements in my toolkit for hope? It has given me a great deal to consider about the way I see myself and others; helping me to be conscious about my values, particularly those that may be somewhat hidden from me.

Above, is a photo of the widow in my study. Living in Rutland, I am lucky to look out at Rutland Water. During zoom calls, I often look through the widow, which acts as a metaphor; reminding me to see people clearly and accurately. If the glass in my widow is dirty or misty then I don’t see the scene clearly. It is the same when we are talking with people. If we see them through the filter of a personal worldview, full of unconscious bias, then we will not form a mutually supportive relationship.

It has taking me a long time to examine what elements, particularly during my childhood and as a young adult, constructed my worldview — how I see the world. Do you have similar influences?

My influences:

My parents, grandparents and how they saw the world; the school I attended and my peer group; the TV, radio, books, and newspapers on which I focussed; our local community and clubs I joined, etc…

A Puzzle!

In my travels I have visited many places, always finding most people to be kind and considerate. My puzzle is why, if this is how most people are, do we have wars as we are seeing today? I’m sure you have your understanding, mine is that where there is fear, a vacuum is created that is filled by extreme worldviews: including seeing others, who are not a part of the group, as not being worthy. In extreme cases people being dehumanised to make it easier to kill them.

An Answer?

If each of us learned to have in our toolkit a clear window on the world, I think it would help us to regularly check-in with ourselves, uncovering any unconscious bias we may have for others. The more we practise with this tool, then the clearer our window will be, making us open to differences, so that we can truly see the other and not our mental construction, based on an inaccurate worldview.

A way of uncovering your own bias, is first to be honest with yourself about why you think and feel the way you do about others; secondly to be open to challenge from others without being defensive.

There are so many more elements in my toolkit that I explore during keynotes and training sessions.

I hope this one helps you as much as it is helping me.



Neil Hawkes

Dr. Neil Hawkes is well known as an inspirational speaker, educator, broadcaster, author and social commentator. He is a popular TEDx presenter.