It’s been a bit since I’ve sat down and taken the time to write. In fact I didn’t realize how long it’s been until recently, when I read an article that highlighted how blogging is becoming recognized for its therapeutic attributes. Ironically, the reason I haven’t written is largely due to an overall dissatisfaction with life. While I have attempted to “pen” thoughts, inevitably those attempts turned into angst-driven, open-ended tirades that lacked any real cohesion or depth.
Arguably, hope is a universal human attribute. The idea that no matter how bad things are now, things will get better, transcends cultures, races, and sexes. Up until this point in life, I too believed in the concept of hope. Certainly, over time that belief has waned. Yet, it’s always been there as something to fall back on to help me get through the rough patches in life.
Lately though, a heavy dose of realism has set in. I’ve come to realize that “hope springs eternal” is a complete falsehood. Hope is nothing more than a coping mechanism. Arguably it’s a healthier coping mechanism. However, in the grand scheme of things, it’s no different than overeating, overdrinking, or over-“whatevering” to deal with life’s challenges.
I believe a more apt saying regarding hope is “hope is blinding”. It keeps us from seeing solutions. Hope has us focus on what could or should be. This prevents us from focusing on solutions that could truly make our lives better. Hope also encourages a “hands-off” approach to problem solving. Instead of taking responsibility for our actions and actively finding pro-active solutions, we resign ourselves to letting time, someone else, or some unproven existential entity fix our problems. This is ineffective…and arguably foolhardy, as we assume someone or something else has our own best interests at heart.
While the concept of hope is best debated in the realm of Philosophy and a lesser extent, Theology, it does have practical application. It’s election year in this country and certainly so far, there’s been much ado about who the next U.S. president will be. While initially considered a joke, Donald Trump has become a serious contender for the presidency (congrats GOP!). For those that keep telling themselves that he could never beat Hillary Clinton, keep in mind he was never supposed to beat Marc Rubio, Jeb Bush, or the “Green Eggs and Ham” reading Ted Cruz either. Let’s face it, Donald Trump has a very good chance of becoming the next President of the United States.
Donald Trump has built his campaign around a concept of hope that he can make America great again. It certainly sounds good and hey, it looks good on a hat too! The reality is though Donald Trump isn’t going to make America great again. If Hillary Clinton is elected president, she isn’t going to make America great again either. Americans tend to pin great hope on the fact that our president will make our lives better. This hope is unrealistic and inevitably, leads to great disappointment. Realistically, those that were disadvantaged before President Obama are more than likely no better off than they were eight years ago. They won’t be better off under Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton either. No amount of hope will change that.
The ills that challenge us as a people today are the same ills that have plagued mankind since our very inception. The names have changed, the faces are different, yet it’s the same old tired life-script. The hope that things will get better has done nothing to change the fact that overall…we are no more evolved than those that came before us. It also means we will never evolve beyond what we are today. At some point in life I feel the key to life is accepting and adapting to that which will not change. I feel I have finally come to that point in my life.