It’s the wind that fuels the embers of our imagination. It compels us to believe that better things are yet to come and to do what’s necessary to bring these things about.
Hope can also just be a disguise for a misplaced sense of security. In such cases, ‘hope’ is like a jury-rigged leg of a bar stool – it looks good enough to sit on, but you’d never inspect it to see how bad it actually is. This is what we call wishful thinking.
I watched two movies today that epitomized these perspectives.
The first was Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. In the movie, the heroine reminds her fellow rebels, “Rebellions are built on hope.” Hope – for freedom, for the defeat of tyranny, for the end of what would be a dreadful future – fanned into flame the spirit of the rebels to fight, to put their lives on the line for a cause bigger than themselves.
The second was Deepwater Horizon. The main character in the film warns against the greed-fueled time clock of his superiors, who want to risk safety for money, lives for profit. He forebodingly mutters, “Hope is not a tactic.” Hope in this case was little more than a desired outcome (a profitable well) without substantive reason for belief (a functional well), which ended up costing several lives.
In fact, in both instances lives were lost, but for very different reasons. Which raises the question: what are you hoping in? Or better, what is the object of your hope? Are you placing your hope in shifting sands or a solid foundation?