I hope I win the lottery.
The Leafs are hopeless.
I hope she likes me.
That boy is hopeless.
Hope is a dish best served with love.
Hopelessness is a dark, lonely place.
I need hope.
I have no hope.

Hope is, in and of itself, such a simple concept isn’t it? I mean it is all about looking forward. A positive spirit. A light.

Having hope implies a future. It is like a light at the end of a dark tunnel. We use the word hope endlessly. And actually I believe it is a most overused and bastardized word, much like love.

For some reason we, as a society, have a tendency to take words of depth and crush them into absolute meaninglessness, mostly by sheer overuse. Love is the example because we love chocolate and we love teddy bears and we love chicken fried steak and we love money. Teenagers are in ‘love’. Couples think sex is love. The divorce rate shows the truth in that. Teen pregnancy rates show the truth in that.

Hope is a critically important word, like love. There is depth and meaning, emotion. Something ‘more’. A spirit if you are so inclined. And we hope for so many things these days don’t we?

I hope we have McDonalds for dinner. I hope that cop doesn’t pull me over. I hope I can finish this in time. I hope my boss doesn’t get mad.

I hope that I don’t die in Afghanistan. If I do, I hope my family will be able to survive and move on.

I hope that a heart becomes available. Am I selfish to think that? Someone has to die to save me. I hope they don’t suffer.

I hope my legs work. I hope I don’t have to be in a wheelchair and be taken care of.

I hope someone can spare me some change. I haven’t eaten in two days.

I hope my dad doesn’t drink tonight. I’m so tired. I don’t want his ‘special’ time any more.

Hurts doesn’t it? Hurts to think we are so shallow and self absorbed. Hurts to forget there are people in this world who are barely hanging on and need real hope.

So what is hope?

Hope is the concept of having a future. Hope is knowing you have a present. And hope implies ‘better’. If you are not in a good place, hope is that things will improve. Whether that means survival, less pain, full belly or something more.

So if you are in a good place, if you are happy, what does hope mean to you? I mean, you could hope that it continues. But really, isn’t that just another selfish statement. So what does the happy person do with hope? This is the crux. This is the great, killer part of hope.

You need to share it. You have to take your joy and send it out into the world. You need to make your hope someone else’s. You need to put your joy on the market for those who need it most. Because you will stagnate without making use of that hope.

Hope is a spirit, no matter what your belief system may be. Hope is the manifestation of joy. So the two groups need each other. The hopeless need the hopeful. There is no hope alone. Hope requires help. Hope demands you make use of it. And the hopeful need the hopeless. Because there is an economy in hope. In order to maintain your stash of hope, you have to invest it. In others. And you will receive it back in spades.

In this society that preaches me above all. In this neighbourhood that requires we look away when the old man next door waves. In this corner of town where we look down on the homeless. In this mall where the snicker at the poor schmuck in the wheelchair. In this school where we tease the girl with the strange bruises. In this park where the teenage boy is drunk and we want him arrested for his anger issues.

Where is their hope?

Here’s a mirror. Do you see it? It’s you. You are their hope. You are their moment of kindness. You are their salvation. You are their light. You are their love.

Yes, I said love. You don’t need a bible to figure out that love is the basis of every gift. Love makes you want to help. If there is no love in your heart, there is no hope. And those hopeless souls who need help, need a hand, need someone will remain.

Hope is the basis of society as is love. It is the ‘we’. It is the ‘us’. We are one. Unfortunately that basic truth is a lie. Right now we are far from one. But it sits upon each of our souls to take back that darkness. To rip open the shroud and show the light.

I am you and you are me and we are all together.

Aren’t we? I live in hope…

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5 Responses to Hope

  1. Wind says:

    Ever hear of, U2.com? Could it possibly have been there that we, or I may have come across each other, or you?

    I chose one mode, or point I guess you could call it, because I’m ill equipped to speak to all the different things you brought up in one go. The feeling I got overall was rather bleak and sad; like looking at the world through rain clouds. Looking at the current state of the world, or thinking we know what it is, from our limited vantage point, is overwhelming. So I was attempting to bring the perspective down to a more manageable place.

    I should have said, then we’ll be in a position to share that which we are, not give, like I did.

    I can’t be a prince. Princess has a nice ring to it though. I’d be happy to not ever be the Queen; the Queen has tons of responsibilities while a Princess (at least in my fairy tale) gets to enjoy herself.

    Thrilled and humbled are you? That’s something Bono would say; actually, I think he has said that. >:)

  2. larrylootsteen says:

    I’d say that where you disagree, I’d point out that I said often is necessary, not always. I would say for some it is required. I try not to deal in absolutes because they rarely apply.

    I have absolutely no recollection of any contact prior to the last few days. I have no clue where it would have happened if it did.

  3. Wind says:

    Possibly, probably, obviously your intention with this idea, and where I went with it, diverged a lot. So much so, what I had desired to convey to you, was not evident. From the top, your words clearly show that to me…

    “I don’t really accept the notion that intimacy with others is required to ‘give’ (you do enjoy those quotes!). Intimacy in your life is often a requirement in order to share. But intimacy with all is not necessary.”

    I’m tell ya, the mojo made me do it; all those quotes are proof. I agree, disagree, disagree and agree.

    I’m going to think about this while I soak my head for a bit in le jacuzzi.

    And I may as well get this over with now; I have the feeling this is not our first interaction. I could be mistaken though. Perhaps you would be so kind as to set me straight on that.

    I don’t require intimacy in order to give

  4. larrylootsteen says:

    The problem with focusing on specific modes of thought is that you ignore the realities. I don’t really accept the notion that intimacy with others is required to ‘give’ (you do enjoy those quotes!). Intimacy in your life is often a requirement in order to share. But intimacy with all is not necessary.

    Reality is such an issue these days. We’re educating the young that manuscripted madness is ‘reality’. Politics has no middle ground and there are lies everywhere from all sides. People have no idea how to connect because their parents never knew what it was and they couldn’t show their kids. Not that staying together in a bad marriage is the answer. Understanding what love, marriage and commitment really are is very much it. People get married for stupid reasons (sex, beauty, money) with no intention of life commitment, no willingness to share life together and no idea how to work out issues.

    The other side of hope, and also giving, is fear. We live in a world full of fear. Manufactured fear of terrorism, fear of Muslims, fear of food, fear of disease. Add into that for many, perfection at work is expected. There is no career. You work and work and then you work some more. And don’t make a mistake or you are gone. That causes stress and distance at home. Now throw in both people are now working to get ahead, how do you raise kids? What do they see?

    The final and most telling fear is the fear of that which you brought up. Intimacy. Opening yourself up to someone else. Letting it all show, warts and all. We fear ridicule. From friends and from lovers. That wall must be broken to grow.

    I can tell you I would be considered weird. At a party I’m more likely in the kitchen with the women than out listening to guys doing their thing. I don’t enjoy the bravada because it is all fake. I can get along with most people in most situations but I get tired of the blarney. Who needs it? Life’s too short for bullshit.

    I’m a lot of years of searching for my voice. I stepped from joke newsletters at work to joke lyrics based on existing songs to poetry and on. So if anything I said inspired a response from you, I am thrilled and humbled by that. People need to express themselves and I don’t care if you are a pauper, a pastor or a prince. I don’t care if you are intellectual or just feeling something in a song or article. I have my voice and my methods. I love the exchange and I am not an elitist. I will happily explain, listen or argue because, at the end of the day, we all have something to give and I am happy to learn as much as share.

  5. Wind says:

    What if ‘we’ decided to use a macro 105mm lens in lieu of a wide-angle zoom 14mm – 24mm to view life through, just for a little while? And during that little while, ‘we’ intentionally focused ‘our’ camera so as to solely capture images of tenderness, flexibility, kindness, devotion, understanding, and bliss.

    After just a little while, seeing and experiencing ‘ourselves’ in those expressions of love, it’s highly likely ‘we’ would naturally begin to feel, be and emanate those qualities. Directing ‘our’ attention pseudo-microscopically; getting up close and personal the way a macro lens allows one to be with a subject, intimacy evolves.

    Now that ‘we’ve’ become intimate, ‘oneness’ is not a lie, but a basic truth for ‘us’. Then ‘we’ will be in a position to give to others that which ‘we’ are.

    I think part of the problem, challenge, opportunity for growth, whatever you want to call it, is ‘we’ve’ been trying to brainwash ourselves into believing ‘we’ feel or will feel, intimately ‘one’ with everybody, or should somehow. Which of course triggers cognitive dissonance within ‘us’, because ‘we’ve’ experienced being a collective identity, ‘ONE’, throughout ‘our’ lives; be it a family unit, a team, a political group, or people who have brown hair. And we know ‘we’ didn’t feel, or desire to be, intimate with each and every one of the individuals that together, was that oneness.

    The whole ‘one with all of humanity and God’, in the face of all the contradictions ‘we’re’ faced with, is overwhelmingly HUGE. Especially when ‘we’ aren’t intimately ‘one with one another’, and so want to be.

    Make sense at all? You got some hidden mojo going on behind that screen of your’s? I don’t, or haven’t, ‘done’ this before to the best of my recollection, and my recollection is scary accurate mostly. You are somehow causing me to bring more of me to bear (or is it, bare?) than I am usually comfortable with. Yes, I am blaming you, sir! >:)

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