Hope is faith personified – The Himalayan Times – Nepal’s No.1 English Daily Newspaper

Hope is faith personified - The Himalayan Times - Nepal's No.1 English Daily Newspaper



Hope is that quality of character which carries us through the worst moments of a crisis. It wells up, as though from some deep reservoir, when a cruel and unbearable world seems to have robbed us of every motivation – well, almost.

Hope extends beyond simply extinguishing suffering. It is an active principle. It sustains belief.

It also gives us the power to project alternative realities, while offering us the dreams and visions that guide us through the present. It permits us to insist that the world can be transformed– that it can be conceived, or looked at, differently.

As the distinguished Czech writer and statesman, Václav Havel, put it: “Hope is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons.”

Havel also articulated that hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but rather the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out.

The more adverse the circumstances, in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper our hope. In Havel’s view, hope is that which gives us the desire to live and experiment continually with reality.

“Hope”, as philosopher Ernst Bloch put it, “represents the triumph of constructive imagination over existential anxieties and also the ‘machinations of fear'”. He argued that hope is not an escape, but a mandate for us to look “in the world itself for what can help the world”. He added, “Nobody has ever lived without daydreams, but it is a question of knowing them deeper and deeper and in this way keeping them trained unerringly, usefully, on what is right.” Bloch reckoned that we should nurture our daydreams and let them grow full, also fuller, since they would cumulatively enrich the sober gaze of our everyday lives. What’s more, we would, in so doing, unclog ourselves from meaningless detail and clarify our vision by encounter with the whole range and plenitude of life, too.

Hope is not a simple emotion confined to the individual self – it expresses itself best when there is a long-range goal that encompasses the fortunes of all creatures. Hope characterises the will to live, to love and, most importantly, to thrive. Put simply, it is a refusal to give up on the best in people, a rejection to deny the possibility of one’s own evolution and that of the people one loves. Hope allows us to explore the relationship between the envisioned and the possible; it allows us to project ourselves creatively in the world. It is also nothing short of the reaffirmation of our faith in the ability to live in harmony with ourselves, one another, and the universe.

A version of this article appears in the print on November 29, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *