Hope in Unusual Times
There is no doubt we are living in unusually challenging times. The havoc brought about by the Corona Virus on public health and on the economy and employment is astonishing. Add to this, major geopolitical shifts evident in the unbalancing of the superpowers’ relative influence on the world stage heighten our sense of uncertainty, personally and nationally. Unfortunately, uncertainty tends to produce fear, and fear causes us to act in reactionary ways. Our sense of balance, of confidence in life can be shaken. Interestingly, life of course is never certain, there is always a degree of risk and a not knowing about the future. The challenge is to find a realistic sense of confidence and hope even in these uncertain times.
It is hope which comes to our aid when life throws curve balls at us. Genuine hope has many features one of which is to enable us to stay in touch with outer realities while maintaining a positive outlook. Without hope, the expectation of a negative future cripples our peace and confidence in the present. Hope says, no matter the turmoil, positive change is possible. This confidence in the future is supported by several foundational planks. The fact that history tells us that things never stay the same, looked at positively, provides evidence for hope. The belief in our personal capacity for agency is another plank. For many, the belief in a transcendent power greater than ourselves is a firm foundation. The support we receive from friends, colleagues, and relatives, again supports a belief that the future still has positive possibilities.
In these troubling times it is, more than ever, important that we maintain our hope.