Brian's Blog

…one man's contribution to the Weeeeerly Wild World

A day of Hope

Week old news, but oh well…

I turn on the radio part way through the news and there is a sound-bite of Prince Charles, talking about Hope. I assume at first that he’s talking with regards to IS, but he’s not, although I suppose he could be – the piece ends with him saying “Hope is the rarest of sensations.”

Such a weird thing to say, I thought. Rareness is surely relative – as human beings I’m pretty sure we hope a lot: we might hope for less rain, or hope for a generous tip from a client, or a pay rise – we can hope each and every day. Or perhaps the Prince was referring to the whole planet, where perhaps the other creatures we share it with don’t have any sensation of Hope. Or even the whole universe where sentient beings are few and far between, in the grand scheme of things, and therefore making Hope very rare indeed… although if the universe were to be infinite, then hope would be also.

The piece of news was about climate change, due to the UN Climate Change conference, and later on, on Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show that day, there was a topic that went into more detail, asking the question: “Which is the greater threat, terrorism or climate change?” On that show was another sound-bite, this time of Barack Obama, again talking about Hope, this time saying that the latest talks about climate change should give us Hope, and that this is a turning point.

Again, it sounded very confusing to me, or rather, naive: Having Hope does not itself bring about change, talking about an issue is only a step towards reaching a possible turning point, hope is an internal thing, before we even speak; it is not itself a turning point. Hoping climate change or a threat of terrorism will go away is delusional, and I think often such talks are.

Such words and phrases from such people always sound ‘religious’ to me, and for this reason I searched online for what both the Bible and Qur’an say about hope, and I found the results interesting.

I found a page that listed 100 Bible references to Hope and it included things like:

  • Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
  • For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
  • The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.
  • But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.
  • For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
  • For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
  • For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
  • Having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust.
  • I hope for your salvation, O Lord, and I do your commandments.
  • Who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

When it came to searching for Hope in relation to the Qur’an someone said on Yahoo Answers: “Muslims don’t hope, they know, make your faith so strong that you don’t spend your life hoping, you spend it KNOWING that you’re on the right path.” and this reference elsewhere: “And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain, and you hope from Allah what they do not hope; and Allah is Knowing, Wise. (4:104)”

According to the dictionary, Hope is a feeling, but to me the very term implies doubt – to hope for sunshine means you expect rain (otherwise why would you bother hoping?) Perhaps it’s better not to hope… perhaps it’s best to just do, to do the best of your abilities, to live in the world as you want to live in it.

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One comment on “A day of Hope

  1. Pingback: Question Everything – the Queen’s speech | Brian's Blog

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This entry was posted on 8 December, 2015 by in Psychology, Religion and tagged , , , , , , , .
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