Sunday, December 11, 2022

“Give Up All the Other Worlds” (Learning to Hope)

        How you feel about hope likely depends on your own experiences and circumstances. It’s been portrayed as both salvation and delusion, and many things in between. An important criticism is that passive hope may give us the excuse to just stand idly by, waiting for others to do something. Meanwhile, we can get lost in an imaginary future, postponing our personal and collective wellbeing to some other time. We can even use hope as an excuse to avoid confronting difficulties, from places in ourselves that need healing to unhealthy situations that need to be addressed. This “pie in the sky” kind of hope can too easily just become a practice of accommodating injustice and oppression. As Joe Hill observed, it also makes you an easy mark for religious hucksters looking to get your money and your labor.