Paraphrasing George Bernard Shaw, the then Senator Bobby Kennedy best defined what hope is He said, "Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream things that never were, and ask why not."
Hard as it is for most of us to imagine a world without hope, such a world does exist. It is that world of which Senator Kennedy spoke. It is a world where its inhabitants see their dire circumstances exactly as they are, but lack even the tiniest belief that they can change their desperation into something better. What a waste of human spirit!
Hope And Human Spirit
In the womb, the zygote hopes to develop into a fetus. Later on, that same baby swims the birth canal in hopes of being held in its parents' arms. Its parents hope to see their healthy child grow to adulthood. Humans are hope personified.
We begin life with hope, and hope sustains us as we grow into who we are meant to become. Then somewhere along the way, persuasive propaganda suggests that wishes and dreams and hopes are foolishness. The pseudo-wise among us pontificate that when we hope, we remove ourselves from the real world. Their real world is the exact world to which Kennedy alluded.
If hopes and dreams were permitted to develop to the extent that they ought to develop, what kind of real world would we have?
Would cancer, diabetes and other life threatening health issues have found their cures already? Would education keep pace with technology; removing every anxiety unemployment may possibly induce? Would global warming be properly addressed to our children's benefits? The list of potential good available to us through hope remains endless.
The second part of the Kennedy quote offers a clear expression of how dutifully hope serves us. When we ask "Why not?" as we tackle challenges, we ignite hope as a loving helpmate to overcome such challenges.
Yet hope can prevail only if we walk away from the notion that we always must have an immediate answer to our every dilemma. If at such times we enliven our hope, we will also enliven our patience, our endurance, and our strength to handle the next difficult issue we most certainly will face down the road.
Having no hope, we simply become just another of the countless ones who "see things as they are and ask why"--and then do nothing else Seems to me that the so-called alternative of not hoping is not an option after all. At least not in the world where I live.