This post is in response to the monthly Socratic Circle prompts Havalah provides at her blog, Havalah Ruth Peirce. The question to be discussed for October is ‘Is hope a fraud?’.
Please feel free to join in on this discussion either by commenting on her post or writing a post of your own and don’t forget to link back to Havalah’s prompt post if you do!
Strange as it may seem, I still hope for the best, even though the best, like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely arrives, and even when it does it can be lost so easily.
― Lemony Snicket, The Beatrice Letters
Is hope a fraud?
To me, hope is a sort of thrust, a variant of faith, a gentle flame – that encourages you to keep going even when, the possibilities of actually succeeding seem bleak. Now as far as fraudulence goes, hope can be a fraud at times but that doesn’t necessarily make it a fraud for everyone. Hope can end up, conveying visions of unrealistic success and it can all feel like a big lie, when reality comes crashing down.
Objectively speaking, I think hope being a fraud or not, ultimately depends on the person bringing a certain hope to existence. As long as their hope is appropriate, ambitious but rooted in reality – I think more often than not, hope ends up serving its more poetic purpose, of being a supporter when no one else is. But when – say, I hope to get a car fly to space, with no plans whatsoever, it’s ambitious but foolish to an extent. It makes no sense to label the hope as a fraud, it would be more apt and called for, to own up to my stupidity.
Hope doesn’t quite deceive people. It could potentially manipulate or blind them but then again, it feels too circumstantial to actually label it, so concretely. One could even say, people themselves determine how much command, their hopes have over them. The validity of a particular hope depends on, how the person perceives it to be.
If hope ever feels like a fraud, I would say the person is more responsible than they think themselves to be, for their hopes not playing out the way they wanted it to. Hope isn’t a plan that can direct you to your destination, after all. It’s a self-cultivated mode of encouragement one relies on to stay optimistic about their paths in life.
Hence, I don’t think hope is a fraud at all. On the contrary, I believe it’s what keeps us going.
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.
― Emily Dickinson
A huge thank you to Havalah @ Havalah Ruth Peirce for the prompt! I had an interesting time writing about it. Please feel free to share your takes on it too!
I’m currently having exams and it might be a month before I can get back online. However, I’ll try to pop back in every now and then! The posts for October, November and December have been scheduled beforehand. As always, I appreciate your constant support and look forward to reading your posts as soon as I get back!