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Updated: 3 days ago

When you wish upon a star.


Desire, anticipation, optimism…the very things that define what hope is. To wish in expectation of a positive outcome is to be said to have a hopeful mindset. I’d say it is closer to faith than confidence…and we’re in dire need for some more of it.


Sometimes I feel we have gotten too cynical to be hopeful for anything with many of the “logical conclusions” to our lives leading to one answer, sadly. But, you’ve come here looking for hope, in search of a new hope, perhaps, that brings balance to the current forces tyrannising against it. After all, there’s no news like bad news and we have a steady supply of that at the moment.


It's always struck me as weird how the news focuses on devastation and destruction as opposed to hope and wonder…I guess it doesn’t sell as well. Perhaps we are too wired for negativity? It’s far more likely to induce a response out of you. Feeling good about yourself and society is bad for business. Much like the casino that lets you win occasionally so you’ll keep on playing the game, the media highlight just enough “good” news to keep you watching, maybe even to give you hope…before removing it after the next ad break. You see, this cynicism is difficult to break free of.

Hope, much like anxiety, is anticipatory, but we are the anxious generation living in an age of anxiety as opposed to hopeful. Hope propels you into the world; anxiety shuts you in your house. Speaking philosophically, you see many people cling to life, cling to security, and they’re in so much anguish for doing so. They have little hope and therefore cling on thus inducing more suffering which is what, ironically, they’re trying to avoid. I’m not here to say that life is meaningless, that it is “a tale told by an idiot” in the Shakespearean sense (Macbeth). I’m very much in favour of the opposite, but the water of life doesn’t fit into neat and permanent packages. I mean, have you ever tried to send a parcel of water in the mail?


When you have no hope, you have no desire to endure. Put it in other words, if you have a why you can bear almost any how, to paraphrase Nietzsche. Having a community of like-minded people around you, or even a single person, can be enough to improve your mental wellbeing and optimism towards life. Forgiveness can generate hope, whether you’re forgiving yourself or somebody else, and sometimes the weight it lifts off you creates a willpower to change. Hopeful people aren’t fatalistic nor nihilistic.


“Having hope is not the same as never quitting. Knowing when to quit is equally important, to not unconsciously and stubbornly persist in naïve hope or blind optimism or wilful ignorance.”


“Living with hope is a lot like living with conviction, although we’re not assured of a good time ahead.”


I personally struggle with hope, maybe it’s just being a creative or call it one of my curses with intelligence or difficulties with reaching out and feeling up is down. Some of you may have twigged to the subtitle in this week’s article being a song from the animated film “Pinocchio”, and there is a sense of hope and wonderment when you wish upon a star, even if it’s a brief moment. It’s really no different than from sitting on the end of your bed, closing your eyes, and asking yourself, “what would I like to have happen to me in my life if it could happen?”


With hope comes excitement, “I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope...”

Time to rewatch “The Shawshank Redemption” and recharge my levels of hope.

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