Lynch says he bases the book on two assumptions. First, he believes whatever is ill with the mentally ill is human. Second, he says that the well can put off the impossible burden of trying to be as well as they think they must be, and can enjoy the privilege of getting tired and being a little mad! He focuses on three major aspects of hope: imagination, mutuality and wishing. He says hopelessness usually involves some constriction of the imagination. Without imagination to picture ways out of difficulties, we lose energy and become too apathetic to wish for anything. On the other hand, Lynch believes our society places all the burden for having and using imagination on the individual. “Half of hope,” he says, “is help.” On some of the most exciting pages of this book, Lynch describes the theological significance of our being able to wish.