In these wonderful times, dotted with a deadly pandemic and politically charged hysteria; what more can people offer each other than some healthy dose of hope! For Hope alone (at least for now) seems to be the only constant that has always been there with us in this ever changing dynamic world that we face each day- which seems to get more and more volatile and insane! Join me here for a quick read to decipher Hope and why it works and why it doesn’t and thereby try to understand how much hope is healthy and when does hopelessness help! So here we go!
Through evolution of human societies, if there have been silent sentinels to humanity, hope is undoubtedly one of the foremost of them all! So what is hope and what is that makes “hope” so contagious? The genesis of “hope” can be found throughout our history- whether we were at peace and engaged in creative pursuits of grandeur or we lived in times when war and conflict ruled, “hope” has always made it’s way into our lives- at times to empower us further and make us more creative and at other times coming in to strengthen us to develop enough courage to deal with what we would have been facing! But how does “hope” manifest? Like everything else, “Hope” too is a figment of human intelligence, wisdom and knowledge ( each of these aspects, similar yet completely different) amalgamate to form what we term as “hope”. Without “Hope” there can be no humanity, but at times, this very misplaced “hope” endangers humanity like nothing else!
Hope has always been about allowing the human intelligence to expand and explore what lies beyond what is visible. Hope is what made crusades possible and the made explorers who they were! Hope being a function of the human mind- drawing its strength on rational thinking, a generous sprinkle of intuition, empowered by virtues like courage and patience is what has made the human society reach where it has reached today! The advancements of civilizations through the ages, the breakthroughs in science and engineering, the renaissance of the creative world , each and every element that you perhaps see around you is a story of the victory of human hope under some testing times, some years back! Consider this, today when we get the flu (not the pandemic one) we know we will be alright, that was not the case about 150 years back! With time as science and medicine advanced and a better understanding about the illness and the causes came to the forefront, scientific and rational approach to cure the sick has saved many lives and these lives continue to be saved each day all over the world, all of this became possible only because a few healthcare workers and scientists were ever hopeful and pivoting on that hope they were able to find the cure to a medical condition. This is what has made us to arrive at a stage- where we are in a better space to decipher all that gets opened up around us, all the time no matter how high or complex the challenge, a healthy does of hope is all it takes to turn the tide in the favour of humanity! But then why does hope end up getting mis-sold? How do peddlers of hope at times place humanity at the cross hairs of disasters and unleash untold misery on fellow humans? Well here, like in the case of all vices, it has to do more with human greed- individual and societal rather than a problem about hope! Let me explain!
Humans come in as many hues and colors as nature can present us with and needless to say each of those variations come in with their own package of intelligence, wisdom and knowledge. When there is a dash of the wrong ingredients a self-serving approach begins to take precedent, that’s when problems begin and that’s how these individuals begin to sell “hope” when it is actually something else (basically an agenda, a narrative- which looks and feels like hope- but sadly isn’t) and what’s more worrisome is that fact that these “pseudo-hope” stories end up creating skewed and fractured societies and individuals thereby bringing around the whole debate about “how much of hope” is alright and when does “hope” begin to turn into despair! So what’s the way ahead?
Once “hope” starts getting mis-sold or rather should I say, once everything else begins to get sold as “hope” is when the problems start to compound and depending on how high an individual is in the social frame, what that person’s span of control and circle of influence is. It is this, which leads to the systematic and structured decay of real “hope” and with time what you end up having, is a society replete with individuals who are high on unfounded hope and eternally waiting to see the Sunrise even as they stand facing the west! It is these spaces where people don’t lie but neither offer rational or realistic understanding that false narratives get sold as hope and that takes away whatever limited courage and strength individuals are left with to deal with what they may be facing! But the question why would people do that? Why would anyone falsify and mis-sell falsified narratives disguised as “hope”? Well that really depends on the people who are involved in that space and the purpose of why that is been done! You see, a parent telling a kid that the grades will be better next year (knowing well they may not go beyond another 4-5% points) is just helping the kid stay aligned and not go astray! Genuine and Valid, this is how real “hope” is encouraging, progressive and harmless, on the other end, you have that parent who wants you to lead the pack and stand number uno (knowing that in the whole family people have struggled to get a B grade) is where stress will start to creep in and false and fake perceptions and narratives then begin to outdo “real hope” and thereby manifest everything but the desired outcome!
Likewise when it comes to dealing with people, whether be relations, work, social interactions or even in the instances where societies and nations have to be led, as long as individuals and leaders stay aligned to the space which offers, “real, meaningful, directed and objective driven hope” it works wonders and creates a vibrant, engaged and proactive individuals and social cohort. The moment people begin to sell fake narratives and falsified hope, social decay commences and sooner or late, both (the person who offers these misleading narratives and the people who soak into it) come back to the very same cross-roads where they had earlier met, only to realize what a waste of time it has been for both- the only person who perhaps will not mind that- is the person who would have profited from that exercise and this is the space where those sooth sayer’s and hope sellers operate- without thinking for a minute- what hardship and challenges will individuals face once the narratives fade away! Few politicians operate in this space, come election time, you hear the same sob story of “they did what they could” which is the underlying narrative and all time favorite, rarely will you come across a politician who says, “Inspite and Despite of all this, I did this and will continue to this, knowing well the obstacles on the way”! When you do find someone speaking this line- You have found a rare gem! So what’s the takeaway, you may ask?
Well, it’s simple, always know that “hope”- that is real hope is as rustic and unglamorous as our lives are- it is equally vulnerable as all our other virtues and feeds on your ever changing levels of confidence and fear. Real hope is hard and needs patience and courage for one to withstand the time of their lives hanging on the sliver of hope- simply because the strength and impact of hope always is proportional to an individual’s courage and patience! Hope too is intrinsic and how hopeful one person is the other will never be at the same level- the broader frame may be the same, but the depth and intensity will differ and that depends on the social context of the individuals and other ambient factors! It is when there is a broader social alignment to few issues among the many that societies tend to see the change and that’s when hope begins to manifest! Whether that cohort is a force of fire-fighters , people having a similar political ideology or pursuit of some defined cause, when these are aligned and synchronous is when hope begins to manifest and that’s how “being hopeful” consistently begins to translate and bring in the aspired transformation within individuals and around societies! It has never been a question about being hopeful about “hope”, what matters is staying clear and away from narratives which are disguised as “hope” (which are replete around us) and this is perhaps the leading cause of all strife and tribulations that individuals’, societies undergo, given the times that we live in!
If you ask me, I will say, stay hopeful about what is rational and all that looks unglamorous, hard-work and vital; all else that looks too easy, too loud and too glamorous in all probability is nothing more than a falsified narrative which is being peddled as hope!
I leave you with these thoughts here, urging you to stay “hopeful” for yourself and humanity on all things that matter and must be dealt with, no matter how difficult or challenging they seem to be! Take that pause and check, how much of “real hope” you have received and how much of it have you offered to others! Did you ever fall prey to something else that was peddled as hope?
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one! Until then stay hopeful and stay wise!