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Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man.
Frederik Nietzsche

Those who know me, will know that I am a very cynical person. I have a very short shrift for the word hope. It’s a loaded word really. It’s also in my opinion a dangerous word. I’m sure there is an essential human component of the human psyche that requires hope, and that it is fundamental to how we as individuals can survive.

My problem with it is that it promotes unrealistic expectations. Sure hope proper is confined to the realistic and the achievable, but humans suck at understanding the proper scope of things. In the face of that I feel that the actual reality of their situation is the best place that people ought to live. Those who live in hope, are not living in the real world. Aims and targets are good, but too live dependent on hope worries me greatly.

Hope, in the words of the optimist is the essential glue that holds people together. Its what keeps them going in the darkest moments of the darkest nights of their lives. The hope that there is something better around the corner. That if you would just keep going, to keep fighting a little further you will ride into some glorious dawn that shall make you forget the harshness of the night through which you have just passed.

Frankly, I find that hope is dangerous. It’s not always smart to have it. It has a certain delusional quality. Hope cannot substain a person, or if it does I feel that it will only substain a twisted delusional person. If you keep hoping, keep believing things will get better, you just set yourself up for disappointment and frequently reoccuring pain. Hope is something that always promises more then it delivers.

I freely admit the seductive nature of the optimistic viewpoint, and I wish that I could believe it. I do not however find myself able to do that. I think that the smarter position to take is that of the cynic. Hope is good, in situations where it is warranted, but I feel that situations in which this is true are very very few. If you deal with hope at all, you should confine it strictly and tightly to that realm that is not into the fanciful, it’s about containing it within the tight boundaries of the realistic.

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4 Comments

    • moonriver
    • Posted May 18, 2005 at 9:23 pm
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    You’re reducing what ought to be profound and important into triviality~

    • moonriver
    • Posted May 18, 2005 at 9:25 pm
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    well i suppose you gave this blogspot a good name!

    • kreg
    • Posted June 4, 2005 at 5:28 am
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    I think this is the first one i dont think i can agree with.

    Hope is essential. It was hope that kept Mahatma going. and all the other great people who have ever overcome resistance. Or at least without hope they would not have continued on.

    Hope that gets one up again when there seems to be no reason to.

    But even when we hope for the impossible, if that hope drives us forwards is it not worthwile.

    On AYP our hope of civilization drove us on. In life it is said that those who shoot for the moon land amidst the stars, i dont really like the quote but it has a point. The olympic athlete who wises to be 2nd best will never win gold. the one who wishes to be 1st may win 2nd though.

    perhaps you are right though and the first will be happier.

    when we are in dark times hope shines brightest and as you say perhaps it is needed for survival, incidently it is found most in places where survival is most uncertain.

    many things i would do with out in this life. but i would loose my legs, arms and whatever future i might have rather than to loose hope. rather than to be able to hope for what i know is almost impossible.

    hold on to your dreams, with out them life is a broken bird who cannot fly.

    Having said all that maybe you are right in that hopeing for what cannot be achived will only lead to disapointment. but let us not lower our sights too early and scan the horison once again searching for something or anything of which we may be certain and in which we can hope.

    • behappyhttp://www.xanga.com/behappy168
    • Posted June 9, 2005 at 11:04 pm
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    I don’t like to hope either. I don’t like feeling disappointed when my hope doesn’t become reality. On the other hand, becoming pessimistic is just as dangerous, as it is the opposite of “hoping for the impossible”: you feel good because the outcome is always better than your expectation, when in fact you’re just lying to yourself.

    I feel it is important to strike a balance between these two extremes. I prefer to expect a realistic outcome. For example, if I want good grades, I study hard so I can realistically expect good results. If I hadn’t been studying then I can only expect average grades.

    Let’s face it, we live in a practical world, where outcomes can usually be predicted given the inputs. Miracles rarely happen…


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