Hope comes in two flavors – starry-eyed and true. Starry-eyed hope is believing in something Pollyanna-style that can never come to fruition, while true hope is believing in something that can be made to become real.
If I hope I end up with a million dollars in my bank account, it’s starry-eyed hope, if I don’t do anything to try and make that a possibility. I might as well just keep my head in the sand and continue with my hopeful fantasies.
If I want to envision a better life for myself or a better world for all, that is true hope, because it can happen. For it to become a reality, I would have to envision what that world might look like, and then take whatever action I can to make it transpire.
It Starts With True Hope
It always starts with true hope. When you have hope, it becomes a force – a force that keeps your soul on fire. That hopeful desire burns in you, and you then feel the pull of that force as it makes you feel awake, alive, and full of life.
Without hope, the soul is muddled, confused, without purpose, lost. Sadly, that’s how many people live. Too many people are jaded, self-absorbed, frustrated, and often unhappy, all because there’s no fire in their soul.
But with hope, you are present and cognizant of the possibilities. You know there is a better way.
You have to continually stoke the fire of the soul with the embers of hope. Otherwise the fire will burn out and you’ll be left feeling the emptiness of dashed dreams. Of course, not all hopeful things come to fruition, yet at the same time, you can never give up hope – again, because otherwise the fire will burn out and you’ll be left feeling jaded.
The Good, True and Beautiful
True hope is a spiritual calling; it inspires you to go towards what Plato and other ancient Greek philosophers called the transcendentals: the good, true and beautiful. True hope also affords you a feeling of idealism, which allows you to harbor utopian-style dreams.
In addition, true hope also provides for a vastness of mind, an ability to open your consciousness to a wide swath of possibilities, and vision what could be. Voltaire posited that “it is said that the present is pregnant with the future.” When you have hope, when you envision what could be, your intention journeys into the future, initiating the process of bringing the future into the present.
When this takes place, your creative juices start flowing, and a burning passion of the soul arises. This is the way you want to feel, always.
We live on this planet together, and collectively we make a world together. But who among us, left to our own devices, would ever decide they wanted to make a world like the one we currently live in, which truly is a dystopia? A world where there is so much inequality – wealth, income, racial; and so much injustice – to the environment, to our personal health, to the marginalized, to everyday people – all in the name of economic growth.
And that’s what happens when there is no hope – you lose sight of the world you could live in, and instead accept the world you do live in, even if that world has serious and systemic flaws.
You don’t have to accept it, not now, not ever. It’s okay to dream of the world of the good, true and beautiful, a world in which everyone thrives to the best of their capabilities. Once you start to dream of that world, there is true hope. And once that hope sets your soul on fire, the possibilities are endless.
How do you make sure that dreaming of a world that is good, true and beautiful is not starry-eyed hope? By knowing there are solutions that are attainable. And the truth is, the solutions to making this a better world, a more sustainable, regenerative and enlightened one, are attainable.
To realize those solutions, it starts with the hope that the solutions can be achieved. In addition, it takes will and the strength and vigor of your personal power. The will and power to achieve these solutions originate in the fire within your soul – and the fire in your soul is ignited by hope.
The Fire of Love
The fire you feel in your soul is not an angry fire; it is the fire of love. A burning, ceaseless love, full of compassion, full of imagination, full of joy, and full of an unstoppable force that desires to live in a world with others who share the same hopes and dreams.
The solutions are already out there. To attain the solutions, it just takes changing the prevailing mindset, a mindset mired in maintaining the status quo.
When Martin Luther King Jr. led marches and civil disobedience to change the prevailing mindset regarding the treatment of black people, the solution was evident and readily available – it appeared in the second paragraph of the United States Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
The Declaration of Independence didn’t say only white people were equal, nor did it say black people were meant to be slaves; it clearly stated that all were created equal. And Martin Luther King Jr. knew this. It gave him the hope that fired up his soul.
And his words rang of that fire: “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right,” is what Dr. King said. And with that hope, with that fire, with that will, with that power, he changed the course of history; and he did it not with anger, but with love.
Let’s know the solutions for creating the good, true and beautiful, and then, with the good graces of hope – the force that keeps our soul on fire – we can bring those solutions forward and allow them to flourish throughout the world.