My Issues With Hope

       I have been wondering about hope, the nature of hope, the effects of hope... even the usefulness of it (or lack thereof). I've been holding back from talking about my observations of hope, because I know how controversial these observations will be. But today, I think I'm ready to discuss this.
       I am convinced that hope is the most hazardous virtue in existence. Hope is the imaginary wind that lifts you up into the sky; the problem is that it's an imaginary wind. We are always told (and truly, we have all grown up hearing) "never give up hope." We have all come to grab ahold of this saying with a grip of death, and when we are able to hold onto hope, we take pride in the fact like it is a great accomplishment on our end. But in my life, I have come to relate hope to an imaginary sunrise; one that doesn't actually take place. You stand there and you wait for the Sun to rise in the horizon, but then it never actually does.
       Hope is the cause of pain, on a rudimentary level. If hope did not exist, I don't think that the deeper levels of pain would exist, either. And really, if something good is going to happen, then it's going to happen. It's not going to happen because you hoped it into existence. Just how many things DO happen, which you never hoped to happen? Did they happen because you hoped for them? Nope! Then what makes people think that the opposite would be true? Why should things happen as a result of hope?
       Nothing is actually affected by hope. Hope is a placebo tablet. It's not a medicine. It is a placebo. You think something is happening, but in reality, what's happening is just all placebo effect going on in your mind.
       If hope did not exist, then the non-materialisation of things hoped for could not ever cause anyone any pain. Life would not actually consist of disappointments; rather, life would consist of just that: life! Golden life in and of itself! Bad stuff just happens. And nobody can know when! But good stuff happens too; and nobody knows when, either!
       Life consists more of chance than of method. And more of unobservable quantum activity than of well-calculated patterns. Therefore, hope really does not have a place in the equation of reality. Because hope is treated as a constant: "have hope and all will be well." In reality, usually when you have hope in or for anything, what you're doing is drugging your mind into thinking that you're going to be okay, when in fact you're not going to be okay.
       Then what is supposed to make you feel good when everything hurts? , you're probably thinking. I think that the answer should not be "hope." Belief in better things-- yes. Sheer willpower-- yes. Trust-- yes. But sheer hope?? Sheer hope is for the dying. Sheer hope is the tablet given to the dying, by which the last blows of death become tainted with tolerability!
       Such strong thoughts and words on the nature of hope; startling and controversial. Nevertheless, these are the observations I have made while on this journey, on this planet. I hope (hahahaha) that my words will lead you to question and to think, on your own. And before dismissing this piece as utter blasphemy, please first consider the points I have raised.
       Does this all mean that I believe in living a joyless life? Of course not! I believe in Awe, in Faith, in Joyfulness, in Trust and in Charity. But hope? I have issues with hope.


  1. Hi. I've known of your existence for a few years now, and feel grateful for it. I gifted myself The Sun Is Snowing on one of my birthdays. Loved it.

    Anyway, so I've had my own love-hate relationship with hope, and feel like sharing it with you.

    As a kid, I used to love the story of Pandora's box. Hope to combat all other so-called negative emotions. Growing up, I stopped seeing emotions as positive or negative, and began to yearn to feel them all, as intensely as possible. Still, I cherished hope. Quotes I liked on it: "Even when you say there's no hope, you're hoping that you're wrong. " And, apparently Otto Frank said, "If the world were to end tomorrow, I'd still plant a tree today."

    Then came life. My yearning came true. Life in all its varied emotions. I began to use the word how sparingly. I realised that it's such a powerful weapon, and that its careless and copious use disguises its potent and potentially harmful nature. How we often by letting go of one hope implant another. How expectation is so much safer than hope. An emotion that can be negated by action, unlike hope. Because hope is self-feeding, it is invincible. It has nothing to negate it. It can be merciless and cruel. Hoping is waiting, and like you said, it can sometimes make you discover unnecessary levels to pain. I began to feel that it was the most dangerous emotion of all to have come out of Pandora's box. True that it is more powerful than all others combined, as I had liked believing as a kid, but why did I not see that that also gave it the power to be anywhere, with the others or even without? So for a while that's how I found hope: beautiful, but treacherous and faithless.

    My hate gradually grew into indifference. Then one day, I was talking to a friend, who was feeling very dejected in life. And after having said all, out of desperation, I reluctantly shook hands with hope again, to give her some. And to justify to myself, all I could say was, hope sucks, but hope is the only hope we have! For what it counts.

    Time passed. I was still guarded about and with hope, now uncertain of my relationship with it.

    Recently, I've come to terms with it, and this is what I feel about it now: I think hope is a beautiful emotion, more so because of its disguised ugliness and nature of invincibility. If hope is the only hope that we have, I believe we are the only thing hope has, too. Going back to my childhood Otto Frank quote, he'd plant a tree today if the world were to end tomorrow. So hope, plus action. Action implies choice. So we can either choose to rely on the hope that would be our salvation as much as our stagnation, or we can have hope rely on us to give it more meaning by cementing it with our actions.

    So now I'm able to almost peacefully coexist with hope. Neither do I only take from it, nor only give. We now exchange.

    Reading your words made me feel impulsive about telling you about my relationship with hope. I hope that's all right.

    I've often found solace in your words. And I love that you exist. Bye!

  2. Hi C. JoyBell C.,

    Thank you for a fascinating and well thought out article. It's a joy to read your thought provoking and well written articles, particularly those revisiting concepts taken for granted.

    Regarding controversial; surely those offended by insightful perspectives are only revealing their own insecurities? Perhaps confirming your point.



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