Hope is not the answer.
There’s only one weapon for the dark times ahead.
Don’t think I’m a pessimist: I’m an optimist with experience.
From this perspective, my advice is: let’s stop trusting in hope. There is no better day on the horizon. Most likely turbulent times.
Surely there won’t be a better day when we wake up feeling that it was just a nightmare.
Fearful and gaunt politicians will always find their seat in each parliament, just as there will always be those bureaucrats loved by the crowd: the Rambo-politicians, overmuscled, adorned with their weapons, real or alleged, whether they are guns, technological weapons or the ones developed by the pharmaceutical industry. Those People’s Representatives will always exist because they are the real heroes we are all drawn to when we want to feel protected.
They are the macho politicians who, in the face of danger, swell their chests like turkeys, vibrating Thor’s hammer to break everything and win all kinds of enemies, wars and pandemics.
By the way: who said politicians have to have all the solutions?
Scientists who wage war from the pages of newspapers or in digital media will always exist as well because they too are in the pay of their own ideology or funded by billionaire industries and the common man can do nothing in the face of their claims.
I avoid listing the other categories into which the so-called “civil society” is divided — in this sort of “Mad Max Universe” there is less and less social ethics. I also spare your patience about deniers and all the other “isms and ists” out of shame and because they already have too much publicity in the media without needing more.
So what’s left? Hope, as Suzanne Moore writes on The Guardian entitled: “There are dark times ahead. We have only one weapon: hope.”
Dear Miss Moore, may I say no? No, no, no! Hope is the weapon gripped by who keeps repeating that soon everything will be better, one day all this will end and everything will return to normal as if nothing had ever happened.
Hope is the weapon of those living in the future, in a time that does not exist because when the future manifests itself it always does in the present moment.
Hope is for the millions who lost their job and whose mind is busy keeping alive the stream of negative thoughts in the process of victimization; the story these people tell themselves is called: “When everything is over they will give me back my job”. And hundreds of Hollywood awful films bolster that hope that someone, like in the “Hero’s Journey” will soon rescue the whole world.
So let’s stop trying to convince crowds that hoping and praying in front of any religious icon will bring comfort for a few moments in this time of biblical tribulation. Because that’s everything one can expect from bending on their knees asking for a miracle. A few moments of relief from suffering, unsatisfaction, hopelessness and the three “magic” words that took over as part the public lexicon some years ago “fear, stress, depression”.
Is there a weapon against hard times?
The only weapon, more powerful than any divine dogma is called
“awareness” and “living the present moment”
deeply, fully absorbed in the things we do, from washing our hands to doing the dishes, from writing a check to driving in a chaotic motorway, from cooking a meal to bringing a forkful of spaghetti to your mouth, from looking at the mountains or the ocean out the window to watching our children as they sleep or play with the dog on the carpet.
Living in the present moment, forgetting to focus on future potential hindrances, alerting all senses, experiencing the heat of the sun on the face, the chirping of birds in the backyard, the wind moving the leaves, the taste of a simple piece of bread, this is the weapon that can alone lead us to cross the flood and make us move through every tragedy, every lockdown, every prejudice against corrupt, incompetent and fearful politicians.
Forgetting to focus on future potential hindrances doesn’t mean crossing the street blindfold while a truck is coming at full speed! It doesn’t even mean to stop making plans for our future, perhaps thinking we’ve got the right skills to start a new job or planning to move to another country because a friend of ours offered to hire us or our spouse.
Hope is not the virtue of the strongest.
It is the refuge of unaware people, they do not see what they have in front of their eyes, they do not know or they prefer not to know or change or whose beliefs lead them to say it’s pointless to enjoy a sky of grey clouds that hides a hot and shining sun.
Hope in a better future is the babysitter of all children.
When they weep the nanny holds them in her arms and “normality is restored”, all is well, hope worked, as a trigger. You cry for help and a nanny takes you in her arms and you feel your prayers have been heard.
This is what millions have been taught about using hope: when they need something and they cannot notice is already under their eyes they just apply to hope: the baby-sitter sorting everything out.
Hope is the paramount excuse for not loving ourselves.
Hope is the chance for blaming others and the weapon leading us to trust in a better tomorrow, in a better job, in a bigger and better car or house or in a better life; all these things better than others do not exist because everything on Earth is already the best. And it’s here today. Now.