Thursday, March 08, 2007


In a reflective mood, I looked this morning at Goggle Images under Hope. This photograph, of the many I looked at (which, unusually, were fairly mediocre), seemed to best illustrate what I think hope is. The fact that there were so few to choose from shows that hope is rather a tricky thing to illustrate on canvas or photographic film.

We all know of course that 'Hope springs eternal in the human breast' because Pope said so but I guess most of us are generally unaware what a major part hope plays in our lives. After all, we have hope for ourselves, hope for those we love, hope for our country, hope for peace, etc. Some folk even hope there is an afterlife despite the fact that there is no evidence to support it. That is hope indeed (or is it wishful thinking?)!

What is hope? According to my dictionary hope is: a feeling of desire for something and confidence in the possibility of its fulfillment. We all buy lottery tickets and hope to win first prize even though we know the chances are incredibly remote. We all hope to meet someone who fulfils all our dreams and live happily-ever-after despite the fact that divorce is common. We hope our children and grandchildren do well in life yet we're well aware that tragedy can strike at any time. We hope we live to a ripe old age in good health then die in our sleep though it happens to few... It is a muchly used word in our language yet, strangely, it usually evades definition and scrutiny.

Is it a human instinct like that of self-preservation or procreation? Given its prevalence, if I had to guess, I'd probably say it was. The Palestinians provide a graphic example of that. Despite forty years of brutal occupation, starvation, house demolitions, the continuing theft of their land and the imprisoning and killing of their citizens, the constant presence of fear-inducing tanks, soldiers, snipers and over-flying Apache helicopters and missiles, they still continue to have hope for freedom (despite strong evidence which suggests they will never get it). Their hope, individually and collectively, must be very strong!

People that contract terminal diseases keep hoping they will live until near the end. The power of positive thinking has even led to some remarkable outcomes and remissions. People who have suffered a relationship breakdown, despite the trauma and periods of depression, keep hoping that another relationship will form and, of course, eventually it does. Older people, those with vision, can see clearly what life is and, more importantly, what it isn't, yet they keep going even when the debilitating problems associated with aging show.

Our current world is seriously conflicted and divided and the threat of nuclear war hangs over our heads. Yet still we all hope it won't eventuate and that one day peace will reign.

Hope keeps us going. It is a bright light in our darkness.

When hope dies, so do we.


Craig Rowley said...

"When hope dies, so do we."

And that is why, if we must bring hope to life.

I hope you stay on the theme of hope a while Daniel. Breathe life into hope on "Seeking Utopia" and I'm sure everyone will be impressed by the deep humanity of it.


Daniel said...

I guess with nuclear war perhaps only a matter of weeks away, it's a bit difficult to offer thinking people a diet of pure hope, Craig.

Surely hope can be properly cultivated when we get rid of some of the inequalities and unfairness in the world. Identifying the things that cause problems then changing them, difficult though that may be, seems to me to be the first step in making our world a more hopeful place.

Besides, trying to engender hope among the passengers on the sinking Titanic is probably something a little beyond me. But I will try! Man the lifeboats. Women, children, politicians, and billionaires first!

betmo said...

you cannot bury your head in the sand and wish the ills of the world away. europe sat by and hoped that hitler would stop with poland. guess what? we have hoped for the last 4 out of 6 years that things would get better- that we could ride out this storm of corruption and greed and power grabbing. well, i think many of us have agreed that we can't hope that everything will work out fine- we just haven't got a clue as to how to stop it. we attempted the voting thing. we attempted the pressure on congress thing. i am sure that there are quite a few of us who have even tried the praying thing- there is only one thing we haven't tried yet- and with good reason. most of us are peace loving folks and that's where these folks have us. they are all about war. how can we have much hope in america when we can't stop this? when we see what america now stands for? it is hard indeed to see how hope factors in. and yet, we still get up everyday- so i guess that there is still---hope.

Daniel said...

I guess when hope translates into action, Betmo, then things may improve. After all, 300,000,000 people can't be controlled and manipulated by a handful of crazies. Cheers.

Zoe said...

Hi Dan!
Yes, I'm still reading. Just gone quiet for a few days is all.

This is a wonderful post. I'm sitting back thinking, putting things into context and realising that there are people in far worse situations than myself,sadly! :(

I'm surprised that rh isn't over here telling you that your living in a fantasy world though!lol

Big hugs and smiles from me to you!

:) :) :) :) :) XXXXXX

Daniel said...

Great to hear from you, Zoe. Putting things into context is important. A trip to the children's cancer ward or something similar, though depressing, would also help.

Funny you would mention 'rh'. He tried to get on my blog but was banned. He preys upon soft-hearted women, then uses them and their blogs to peddle his nastiness and narrow, warped thinking. It comes from his criminal background.

Zoe, please don't let him on your blog whatever you do! You have enough troubles in your life already and, besides, your blog is really special. We all want to keep it that way.

Take care now. Love and hugs. xxxxx

Zoe said...! Why are some people so nasty? If you look at my post about when I went out he has left comments that have attacked my character and views and also a deep thinking, caring friend who only tried to defend me! I was just sitting here wondering whether to respond to his attack or simply delete the comments that he made. I always find it remarkable that people who claim to be good hearted, sincere and 'religious' are the ones who attack others without much thought or care for the feelings and liberties of others.
I count my blessings that I have met many far nicer people in the blogg world!
Love to you always
Zoe xxxxxx ;~)

Daniel said...

I called over and looked at the post. That's Robert but without his normal bad language. That will quickly follow.

There are three ladies' blogs that I no longer visit because the owners allow rh to insult at will, thinking it funny. If your're constantly on the receiving end of it, it's not funny at all.

A little bit of rh goes a long way. None is even better.

Stay cool, Zoe. xxxxxxxx

Zoe said...

Thankyou Dan. I have to say how nice it is to be your friend!
Even if only in blogdom! Your a cool guy!
I wanted to tell you that I have replied to Rh and I only hope he gets the message and racks off! lol

Love Zoe xxx

Daniel said...

Be warned, he'll be back, Zoe. He's like a bad smell. He reckons women don't mean what they say.

On the three blogs I mentioned I saw him warned time and time again and he just ignored the warnings or he left it for a week then back he came with a few flattering words.

I think some women see him as a stray dog. He plays on their good nature while he attacks all males as he's done on your blog already.
Deleting his comments is the only language he understands.

Be careful, Zoe. You have enough troubles in your life. Besides, he actually issued a death threat against me. And he still watches my blog.

Love and Hugs. xxxxxxx

Zoe said...

What the....? This guy is seriously nuts then! I will do as you suggest. Thankyou for your warning, I really apprieciate it. I will delete the comments asap.
Much love as usual !
zoe xxx

Daniel said...

My pleasure. Running a blog puts you on a steep learning curve. You make mistakes but you learn from them. A bit like life I guess.

I'm only just beginning to feel comfortable myself running a blog after having had to deal with all manner of strange, extreme and manipulative people over the last ten months. I just don't tolerate them anymore.

And keeping your identity unknown is important too, Zoe. Imuslim put up a post that alerted blog authors to watch out for those who used information about them from their blogs to create both mischief and fraud.

But despite the problems, the nice people make up for it. Wink, wink...xxxxxx.

Craig Rowley said...

Daniel there is an excellent article written by Sian Prior in The Age today titled "From anger to inspiration". Sian concludes her inspirational article with a quote from the Dalai Lama:

"If you focus only on your own suffering," he said, "you cannot be happy, because this leads to paralysis. But if you are focusing on the suffering of others, and if you are doing something about it, you will be energised, and you will be able to find happiness."

I'm inspired by another quote from the Dalai Lama:

"I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest."

Daniel said...

Thanks for your positive comment and the link, Craig.

I guess my happiness with my blog comes from its concentration on the suffering of others then trying to do something about it. My trying may be far more than the perceived results but what the heck!