Hope—it bridges the existing gap between public cynicism and conflict and the dreams that most Americans embrace. Yet it’s a quality that all Americans should possess.

Dreamers have hope. The most public American dreamer was Dr. Martin Luther King, who delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech from the Lincoln Memorial in 1968 before a large crowd.

Dreamers are referred to as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and those who would benefit from Dream Act legislation.

Others who dreamed included America’s Founding Fathers who dreamed of a new nation, Albert Einstein, who dreamed of a relativity equation, politicians who dream of a better America, a justice and political system fair to all, an unbiased news media, an American system that provides for the lesser among us, that corrects our infrastructure shortcomings and pursues our common healthcare and immigration priorities.

There are other dreamers in American society who aren’t household words, but their charitable deeds are as important as those of their better-known counterparts.

Dreamers are necessary for hope to thrive. Dreamers hope for the things they dream about and work to fulfill their dreams. There are even nonprofit entities that encourage dreamers, such as Dreamers Daycamp, Teeny Dreamers and the Colorado I Have A Dream Foundation, all Colorado-based. Other states have similar programs. United We Dream Action and Washington State’s Real Hope Act are two programs dedicated to helping DACA subjects.

For those who believe organized religion is important, there are numerous Bible verses that stress Hope. Among them are Romans 15:13, Romans 8: 24-25 and several Psalms. Hope is stressed in the Bible because belief in God and an abundant afterlife is based on hope and something we cannot see. It is faith-based.

In fact, belief without seeing is the basis for most religious thinking.

What is hope, anyway? The dictionary definition defines it as “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” It encompasses a feeling of trust and a strong wanting of something to happen. It often afflicts those facing a difficult time or illness, but it often means the difference between hanging on or giving up.

First, humans must imagine the hoped-for result. Second, they must then figure out ways to get the result of which they dream. Implementation is necessary, too, as a third component so that there’s a plan in place to follow, but if the plan doesn’t work, the dreamer should have alternatives in mind. Somehow, a dreamer will find a way to secure the dream—ask any dreamer and the dreamer will cite a logical path to achievement.

Dreaming doesn’t men daydreaming, but it does mean setting a goal, charting a course or otherwise seeking an end.

Those who dream and have goals live longer because they have a purpose to achieve.

As the 5th District Congressman, I went throughout Washington state handing out medals of Freedom to service members who fought at Normandy but didn’t receive the Jubilee of Liberty Medal to which they were entitled. One recipient fought through health challenges to receive his medal. He even approached the podium in uniform and in a wheelchair to receive his medal.

His daughter wrote me two weeks later that the medal meant everything to her father—that he hung on to life just long enough to receive his medal, and then passed away.

So, having a goal means hoping for something, usually an improvement in one’s life. About 512 Medals were presented to deserving recipients. Spokane’s Global Credit Union paid for them all.

My father lived just long enough with lung cancer to travel to South Carolina to see me married 42 ½ years ago, reaching a goal he had set for himself.

Others defy the passage of time and health conditions so they can see a son married or otherwise dream of an outcome important to them.

Hope can extend lives, accomplish miracles and better society. One need only have faith that an outcome is possible and the will to make the outcome happen. Americans possess that will—it’s part of the human makeup.

There’s a song sung by Frank Sinatra called “Dream” — “things are never as bad as they seem, so dream, dream, dream.“ As singer Andy Grammer tells us, in his hit song ”Keep Your Head Up,” life is just a journey.

Americans can overcome presidential tweets, impeachment talk and other national problems if only we all dream a little, set goals and have hope that life will “turn out fine.”

George R. Nethercutt Jr. served five terms in the House from the 5th Congressional District as a Republican after defeating House Speaker Tom Foley, a Democrat, in 1994, Nethercutt is the founder and chairman of The George Nethercutt Foundation.