If a virtue is something difficult to maintain and necessary for the flourishing of  human society – then hopefulness qualifies.

It can be hard to keep going in a world where there is so much suffering in evidence.

It can be disheartening when the bad guys seems to win and the good guys go to the wall.

It can be difficult, as you grow and gain experience in the world to hold onto hope.

And still.

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. ~ Dale Carnegie

10 comments on “Hopefulness

  1. There is a phrase I love in the Bob Dylan song ‘Tangled Up in Blue: ‘keeping on keeping on’ that captures what you are talking about I think.

    Also I love Albert Camus’ reworking of the Myth of Sisyphus. As punishment for his contempt for the Gods, Sisyphus is condemned to roll a rock up a hill, only after huge effort to have it crash back down to the bottom of the hill, and he has to start over. He has to do this for all eternity. Yet as he walks back down the hill to resume his rock rolling, Camus imagines Sisyphus is happy…..I even go further and imagine Sisyphus whistling….

    My friends, their efforts to change the world just a bit, the enthusiasm new (including my own) ideas sometimes garner, the people I meet with and collaborate with on line; they make me ultimately optimistic that the journey is the purpose and it is actually just fine. As St Julian of Norwich says: ‘All will be well. And all will be well. And all possible things will be well.’

  2. nrhatch says:

    I oscillate between hope and despair. When my tank is running on empty, I remind myself that:

    Despair is hidden arrogance . . . I have seen the future and it doesn’t work. 😉

  3. sufilight says:

    Hope to me is like a “light” that shines and dispels that sense of darkeness when life may gives us challenges.

  4. Ed – I really enjoyed the Camus’ Sisyphus – particularly – “The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.”
    As for St. Julian – even if she was a woman she still sounds like my husband! I must look her up now too! Thanks.

    • Trish. I just want to see right-on women like St Julian get their due! 🙂 And your husband must be very wise too!! Camus helped me survive a life of 3am call outs for labour disputes: kept me keeping on….He seems very neglected these days, yet what he has to say is so relevant it seems to me. I love his novel The Plague too. Not so keen on his other novels….The Stranger especially.

      • Good old St. Julian was definitely not an existentialist I’m guessing! I never read The Plague (or at least I can’t remember if I did) – I read The Stranger in my own existential youth – don’t know if I liked it as much as was impressed with myself for reading it! Will look out for The Plague. Thanks.

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