More on the Downside of Hope
(But then, what is the point of life?)
I received a ton of feedback after my last post on why hope may be over-rated and the downside it has. It is here.
I narrated the story of Kapil who was by most standards utterly destitute but who still found joy in his life.
One reader wrote:
But, if he has no hope whatsoever, his spirit will be broken and he may not be able to do even the minimum required to survive.
And this is precisely the thinking I would like to challenge.
Kapil is making an effort to improve his lot. But he is not ‘living in the hope’ that this will happen. He has fully accepted that what he would like may or may not happen. And he is doing what he can today and enjoying today with no ‘hope’ pinned on tomorrow.
A member of the audience in a talk I was giving asked ‘what is the point of living’ if there is no hope.
The answer is simple. The purpose of living is to live. Live today and live joyously.
Where did you get the notion that today is not ‘good enough’ and you hope for a ‘better tomorrow’ and that is what gives you the strength to ‘survive’?
We have been brain-washed into believing that we have to strive to achieve and that, no matter where we are, we should hope and work for a ‘better future’.
When we do that, we miss today.
Whatever your situation is today, enjoy the day.
By all means work hard to make tomorrow ‘better’ in some way.
But recognize that your joy comes in the work that you are doing today. The ‘result’ of the work you are doing may be what you expected.
Or it may not.
It does not matter. Your well-being today, right now, is not dictated by this unknown and unknowable result.
If ‘hope for a better future’ is the reason you live today, you have condemned yourself to a jejune existence.
Don’t do that.
Just live today and enjoy it with all of the turbulence it has. Tomorrow will take care of itself when it arrives.