Written December 23, 2016)
Hope is a necessary concept? A concept? When I heard this I had to scratch my head because a concept is an abstract idea or a general notion. When we hope for something we have an expectation that something good will happen, we are optimistic about the future. So how is being optimistic an abstract idea or a general notion? What do we hope for?
To start with when we’re young we hope the tooth fairy will leave money under our pillow for being brave when we pulled our baby teeth out and we hope Santa will bring us what we ask for on Christmas Day. Later we hope to get good grades, pass our tests and graduate from school. At some point we hope, in no particular order that we’ll fall in love, get the job we apply for, get married and have children. After all that we hope we’ll have a job with a decent income so we can provide for our family and that company we’ve worked at for 5, 10, 20 years won’t close because of bankruptcy or to go out of the country. We hope our income will be enough to pay our mortgage or rent, our car loan, insurance and our utility bills. We also hope our children will have a good, or even better, life. These don’t sound an abstract idea or a general notion does it? Mind you, this is just a short list but it pretty much covers the main points.
If one watches the news much, one might wonder if there is any hope left. Between all the stuff going on over in Europe, the Middle East and beyond not to mention the laundry list of stuff happening in our own country it’s no wonder one might think there’s no hope left. And then you have the 2016 presidential election. I’m not going to rehash all the “stuff” that happened. I do want to briefly mention all the emotion following the election. I think I might be accurate in saying that about 50% of the country is beside themselves with grief, anger and fear. It’s pretty understandable given all the rhetoric that flew about. There are a couple things we are forgetting.
First when people campaign for any office they say things they don’t mean, even if it’s plans for the future. They give you hope that they’ll be the best person for the job. Think back to a time when you were a kid and you had to chose between two friends who was going to be your best friend. Maybe you know one of them better than the other but each of them tried to bribe you with gifts or promises. Or maybe each friend would tell you some untrue things about the other and maybe one sounded meaner than the other. Each of these friends wants us to take a chance on them being the bestest friend that they can be. This brings me to the other thing we forget.
All of us a one point in our lives tries something new, especially when it comes to a new job. We want our potential employer to take a chance on us, right? This is particularly true when it’s an important job like caring for other people or supervisory/managerial jobs. Kinda like the friend scenario, our employer takes a chance on hiring or even promoting us. Similarly when we vote for someone new for whatever political
In the last few years I learned about something called the triangle of self obsession that fits this situation. The following excerpt I read has stuck with me, “Resentment is the way most of us react to our past. It is the reliving of past experiences, again and again in our minds. Anger is the way most of us deal with the present. It is our reaction to and denial of reality. Fear is what we feel when we think about the future. It is our response to the unknown; a fantasy in reverse. All three of these things are expressions of our self-obsession. They are the way that we react when people, places, and things (past present, and future) do not live up to our demands or expectations.”
Coming back to our new president, Mr Trump. Yes, he’s said and done a lot of things that I’m sure he regrets. No, he wasn’t my first pick but when it came down to the last 2 candidates I had to chose one of them. The reality is Donald J Trump is our president for the next 4 years. If we have any hope of living better lives, we need to come together and give him a chance. In this writer’s mind he’s already given me hope for the future of this country and even the world. Heck, he’s already started to make things better and he hasn’t even been sworn in yet.
Thought for the day: At some time in your life you hoped someone would give you a chance to do something new. Now it’s time to have hope for the future that our new president will make things better not for just you and me but for everyone.