Hope is the one of the very best things, and is the source of much that is the most admirable, glorious, and honourable in us. It is a simple and extremely powerful concept, one with the power to change the world and transform individual lives, but is all the more mysterious because we often cannot describe what it actually is or justify our reasons for having it. Any consideration of the human spirit – whatever we might decide that may mean – must consider Hope, because the course of human endeavour would be unimaginable without it.
In the best of circumstances it is a vital and energising force full of conviction and passionate application. It is distinguished by the belief, the inspiration, and the perseverance that characterises everything that is extraordinary, everything noble, and all that is admirable in what we have achieved as human beings. In the worst of times it is often what defines our courage, our determination, and our fortitude. Admirably or regrettably, or both, it is what maintains our ability to undergo almost impossible hardship and pain. It is what we cling to as to life itself when all else has been taken from us, and epitomises that which is resilient, determined, unwavering, and often indefatigable in us – sometimes in the most unlikely of heroes.
That it is belligerent and blithe in the face of sometimes almost overwhelmingly negative odds suggests that it is staggeringly naive and incomprehensibly irresponsible. But though it may place our hapless protagonist in mortal danger, it is often this very stubborn quality that allows him to transcend and overcome, to tap into hitherto unknown sources of will power and positive determination. It is these characteristics that define Hope’s most beguilingly and uplifting quality. It is, in fact, an often bewildering thing, because without rational explanation or justification it still sometimes exists in the gravest of circumstances.
But in that case, maybe our assessment of those circumstances is wrong?