Being hopeful is a tricky state of mind. I have always thought that hope is a double-edged sword. Time and again, it has been said that hope is the one thing that keeps us going. It makes us desire for a better tomorrow. But then, it is such a dangerous state of mind too. Hope just increases the expectations that things will improve for the better. That things will be good. And expectations, if not met can lead to despair. And according to wiki, the opposite of hope is despair. But when expectations are not met, it is the very same hope that is leading to despair. So, despair is not always the opposite of hope.
I have been quite disturbed these past few days because of certain happenings. And these happenings involve watching the person dearest to me having very high hopes about something. And this “something” does not seem to be getting fulfilled. And every time I speak on the phone with the said person, it breaks my heart to see how hopeful that person is. (It is always so easy to deal with problems you have, as compared to dealing with the problems the people close to your heart have. And you can do nothing to ease their pain. You have very less control over their thoughts and their hope).
Believe it or not, I am not a very “hopeful” person. By that I mean, I live in a neutral state of mind for most of the times. At least, I try hard to be in a neutral state. Certain things in the past have made me believe that this is the right way to live, for me. I am not in despair. But I am not in hope as well. I do not think how tomorrow will be. I do not feel it should be good/better than today. I just deal with it the way it comes. Just do the thing you are meant to do in that situation. Maybe, it is for this reason that I find “letting go” easier. I read a quote in Calvin and Hobbes some days back which said: “lowering your expectations to the point they are already met is the best way to live” (or something to that effect. I do not recollect the verbatim version of that quote). And it made me smile.
I do not think happiness and hope are in any way related. I can be happy, even though I might not have any hopes. I can feel peaceful, light-hearted when I do not have any hope. This is tried and tested situation, so I know that at least for me, happiness (in the true sense) and hope are not related. And that does comfort me a little bit.
What does hope mean to you?
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