Sunday, 17 June 2018

Hope - A Blessing or A Curse?

I tend to hope a lot. I dream a lot too. One word is enough to set me off on a daydream to a whole fantasy story about what could or couldn’t, might or mightn’t, happen. The problem is that more often than not, my hopeful character tends to think that ‘could’ is more possible than ‘couldn’t’ once I put something in my head. Variables tend to get forgotten as I excitedly focus on possibilities I prefer and overlook the fact that nothing ever goes exactly to plan.

It’s happened to me with small things and bigger things, things I brushed off once they failed and experiences that conditioned the rest of my life. And yet I never learn.


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Meanwhile, I have a friend who is just the opposite. When asked a few days ago how come he is always in a good mood and frame of mind, his answer was a simple ‘I expect nothing’.  His reasoning was that, in expecting nothing, anything positive at all that happens is a gain and not just a part of an expectation or maybe even something that causes the feeling that the gain falls short of expectation.

So the real question is, should I hope or should I not? Hope, like money, is a good friend but an evil master. As with anything else, it is good in moderation. Then again, I am never moderate, in love, in life, in passion and compassion. For me everything is an all-or-nothing and I find it hardest to be something other than high on happiness else “in the depths of despair” as Anne of Green Gables would say.

This morning, as I lay in bed taking a last rest before starting my long day, my mind wandered to something that means a lot to me and about which I keep hoping and hoping for a positive outcome despite knowing it is the trickiest unlikeliest thing that could happen. Immediately I remembered my friend’s words. Never expect anything, I tried to convince myself. I reasoned it was the best I could do in order to avoid getting hurt. Only for a minute though, till my mind again fled to that secret place that is Wonderful Dreams Come True land, totally inexistent yet a source of everlasting carrots on a stick… you know, the kind you can never actually reach and eat. So I forced myself a second time to think that I should not expect anything. For a minute or so. Then it stopped working. My mind whirled round and round, the minutes kept ticking by to that nauseous time when I would have to get out of bed and still I kept hoping, and not expecting, hoping again then not expecting again. Round and round, over and over, very much like the pendulum of a clock as it slowly ticks away the seconds, minutes, hours and days of our life as I struggle still with the question - should I hope or should I not?

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