Notes on Hope

Have you heard a story of a spider which never lost hope and ultimately succeeds to climb up the roof of the cave.  And a guy watching it ultimately learned the lesson that ‘never lose hope.’

As a little girl pointed out in her school, spider never lost hope because it had none. But that’s all right, if a right lesson is being learnt from false facts?

One of the best English movies, “Shawshank Redemption”  is themed around the hope. It epitomise the ultimate power of Hope, winning over Red‘s argument, “Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.”


I could not locate how in Hinduism, Hope was treated. There is vast resources out there on Greek’s. One goes like this,


Hope was personified in Greek mythology as Elpis. When Pandora opened Pandora’s Box, she let out all the evils except one: hope. Apparently, the Greeks considered hope to be as dangerous as all the world’s evils. But without hope to accompany all their troubles, humanity was filled with despair. It was a great relief when Pandora revisited her box and let out hope as well. It may be worthy to note that in the story, hope is represented as weakly leaving the box but is in effect far more potent than any of the major evils”


What exactly could Hope be? Benefit analysis when there is ‘zero’ cost.


People give argument that there is hope. But most of these situations are those in which there is nothing to loose (and a something to add) e.g. in teen-age relationships. Lets see if its work out with her(him), there is a hope. Here we see even if the chances are slim, people invoke ‘Hope’ to try it. But when the cost is not ‘zero’ like jumping across a river in which there are crocodiles, poeple do not invoke the same argument here, “Lets try there is hope.” 


Other situations are in wars. Soldiers do a lot of dare-devil things out of Hope. But again one may ask whether in those situations they had less risky options?


Perhaps, (false hope?) Hope arises when there is no less risky way out e.g “Lets be hopeful” before the result declaration. There is nothing else you can do about it otherwise the cost is worries.


People who day-dreams a lot and think of all good things to come (even without doing anything about it) (like myself) do suffer with this hopeful-ness. But trust me it improves one’s life, makes one happier. Even if is the worst evil, as Greek considered it, it the best worst thing ever.



dilawar 






   

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Author: Dilawar

Graduate Student at National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.

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