Making the best of it,
Playing the hand you get;
You’re not alone in this.
There’s hope for the hopeless.
—Hope for the Hopeless, A Fine Frenzy
I was at the bar with a friend of mine the other day. He said something so typically him to the waitress, and I laughed and said, “You’re hopeless.” This sparked a discussion.
Because of course, I don’t actually think he has no hope, in general. You can be “hopeless” in many ways. I know I am — and yet “hope” is one of two things I point to as driving forces in my life.
A particular endeavour might be hopeless, or might be referred to such once you’ve given up — that is, once you’ve lost hope. You might call someone hopeless when it seems that no matter what you say or do, something about them isn’t going to change. They’re still going to be themselves, they’re still going to act a certain way.
I’m hopeless. I’m a hopeless romantic, for one thing. No matter what life throws at me (read: a lot), I still believe I’ll find someone I will be happy with for the rest of my life. But this isn’t really hopelessness, is it? In fact, this is the essence of hope. No matter what happens, I continue to believe — to hope — that I will find romance.
That’s what hope is. It’s the continuing belief that something might yet happen. And it’s keeping that belief in the face of opposing evidence.
But I’m not talking about blind religious fervour. That might be ignoring evidence of present fact in favour of belief. But hope is disregarding evidence in favour of belief about the future. It can fall within the purview of science — just because something hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it won’t. On average it might not happen, but there has to be something both below and above the average.
And hope is a positive force. It’s the thing that keeps you going despite the odds. It’s the force that makes you go above and beyond, to work for your goals, to believe in yourself. Without hope, there’s nothing to strive for. Without hope, there’s no future. Without hope, there is no living.
As I say, hope is one of two forces that drive my life. I hold onto hope no matter what. It lets me be a positive person, looking forward to the future and to everything I can accomplish and everything I can have and everything I can be. Life can suck sometimes — hope pushes me through it.
The other of the two forces is love.
I told you I’m a hopeless romantic.