Hope – friend or foe?

I enjoy being optimistic. There is no point in being down if you can possibily avoid it. That is not to say that everyone can be genuiney happy all the time. We all have our off days! It isn’t natural at all to be in one continuous emotional state but we can try to stay on the positive side of the fence. It is always good to look on the bright side of life. It is good for your energy levels and your general sense of wellbeing.

You always see hope around you. Take politics for instance. There are repetitive catchphrases used in order to persuade us to vote such as ‘hope for change’ and ‘hope for a better future’. Who hasn’t been seduced by the hope of change in a rousing and passionate speech? The future is always about hope. We all want to feel good about life and to have hope is important. It keeps us going despite the difficulties we face.

Religion and spiritual beliefs also gives us hope. Many people turn to faith in times of great need and crisis when there seems to be nothing left. When we feel hopeless, faith can give us great strength when we need it most.

In other respects, it seems to prevent any chance of real change. Some religious beliefs hold us to ways of thinking and behaving that actually create conflict within ourselves and with others (even whole nations) if we enforce it on others rather than live our beliefs through good example.

Also, if we all trust to hope without activity, could it simply be perceived as an empty vessel? A form of empty rhetoric. There is no real productive energy in hoping something will change. You actually have to make things happen…believing is not the same as doing when you get right down to it.

I sometimes feel that we give money to charities that really need help and support only to see that a couple of years later, the same problems still exist. Nothing much has changed which is apparent. Some things may have got better temporarily through charitable giving but what is actually changing in a positive way that actually makes a difference (to an entire nation for example?)

I always wonder why the problems are not going away fully? Of course, so much good is being done – take Comic Relief for example and the amazing work they do – it is fantastic. I dread to think where we would be without organisations like that. But – are we getting to the root of the problem?

I don’t think we are regrettably…otherwise there would be no poverty in the world. There wouldn’t be people going hungry. There wouldn’t be people dying of thirst and dieseases like malaria. There would be no domestic violence and abuse…the list goes on. You would see things getting better and staying that way – not continuing on the same thread as they are. Giving money to charities is a great thing to do but I don’t think it is the best or only thing we can do in order to make things better.

Hope without actively engaging in change is like being crucified by hope to me. Change becomes a distant mirage enticing you forever onwards, tiring you out. You just feel exhausted in the end. It goes on…and on…and on…what are we really hoping for if nothing to instigate real change is happening?

We could say it is all going so wrong in the world sometimes. But – many things go right too. Hope for change isn’t enough on its own though. Hope is the future and change is now. Hope can only be real if the impetus for real change is truly present in the here and now.

‘We have to be the change we want to see in the world’.
The wonderful and timeless words of Mahatma Ghandi.

If everyone did that, well…what an amazingly beautiful world it would be.

So simple – heaven on earth.
Lets keep going….:)

© Christina McDonald 2014.


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