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Do we have or do not have hope? Is it increasing or decreasing? These questions may not even be clear.
Lacking hope can be something dark, unconscious, but it affects us anyway. It is something different from other more noticeable shortcomings, such as not having strength or not feeling like it. If we have poverty of hope, becoming aware of it can be more painful, but it is usually less dangerous, because it puts us on alert: something is wrong, very bad, in our lives!
When in practical life we accept that our work is above family and love, and that this work also has the purpose of earning money, our hopes begin to blur. What the old tango was saying happens to us: “You will see that everything is a lie; you will see that nothing is love; spin spin...". Our life is becoming a twist and turn meaningless.
We can earn more money, but since money is a wild card, we can be tempted to pretend to buy everything. And it happens to us like the young man who does not marry so as not to tie himself with any, and thus have the freedom to conquer them all. At least he thinks so, but the reality is that because he wants to have a wild card, he doesn't really have any; and already of an inveterate bachelor, his hopes are also blurred.
To hope is to expect something, to have an illusion, a life project whose realization is expected; It is to wait for a new stage of life to come, like someone waiting for their wedding day to arrive. What is the next stage that I expect in my life? Do I have an interesting, exciting life project, and the illusion of doing it? The object of my hope must be something that satisfies me, that realizes me, that increases my level of joy; and that, if he does not give me complete bliss, at least I will open horizons and possibilities of other more blissful projects, and so on.
Money alone cannot be the object of our hope, and in fact those who seek money do not think so; Only the miser thinks like that, and he got ridiculed at Rico McPato, who had a pool full of money and swam in it. Whoever looks for money does not put his hope in money itself, but in everything he can buy with money; but it is a false hope, because with money you cannot buy what gives happiness, such as love, knowing, a life that will last, and so on.
Although the articles in this series can be read independently, there is a relationship between them; due to which the reading of each one will be better used if it is related to that of the others, which can be found by activating the link offered immediately:
Life has been difficult for us
Hope is closely linked to life. Thus it is said everywhere: While there is life there is hope. There can be no hope if life is going to end, unless the person cultivates a false hope for wanting to see only in the short and medium term, at the end of what their youth and maturity can last, refusing to look at a longer term . But time is relentless, and diseases will always come, premature death or old age; and then it will not be possible to continue avoiding the end of the present life.
If with death all life ends, then there is no place for hope. Because of the very nature of hope, it cannot happen if there is no other life - that is enduring - after death, regardless of whether or not that other life has its foundation in God. Certainly the future life has its foundation in God, just like the present, although the atheist does not know it; However, even for the atheist, hope is threatened by a death with which all life ends. It is the very notion of hope, which asks to live perpetually, even regardless of its foundation.
We know few details of the future life; However, we know that the door that leads to it is death. We also know that death is like a customs in which only what is is happens, and not what you have. You pass through that door, but none of your own belongings pass, not even your clothes on. This single reality speaks well of the culture of being, against the culture of having. Nothing you have will go through that customs that is death; all your belongings, without exception, will stay here; This is absolutely certain.
Importance of love and cultivation of values and virtues
If what we have loved in this life has been our belongings, when we move on to the next life we will suffer the surprise of losing them; and we don't know how that surprising suffering will be solved there. The remarkable thing about the matter is that the realities that can happen to the next life are realities that we can also value, love and cultivate in the present life; and if we do, we will move on to the next life together with the realities that we love, so that there will not be the mentioned surprise suffering.
Such realities are those that enrich our being, that is, the values and virtues or attitudes that lead to them: the truth is reached by knowledge; good, for love; beauty, for appreciation; unity, by concord, and so on. It is values that give happiness everywhere, even in this world, even if it is incomplete; This is because here the values are not fully possessed, which is only achieved in union with God, for being the Source of the values.
Having made the previous clarifications - indispensable for understanding the very notion of hope - and if hope is not destroyed by the fear of a death with which all life ends, then we can speak of authentic hope in the various activities and stages of our present life , even without having to be explicitly thinking about death and God. I say this because there are people who are bothered to have to think explicitly about death and God. No problem; even they can have real hope, here and now, in a tangible way; just rely on the values.
Also here, in this world, Texas below, hope is fueled by values and the virtues or attitudes that lead to them, such as truth and knowledge, good and love, and so on. Hope brings peace, serenity, illusion, planning, patience, perseverance, work, creativity, productivity, security, concern for others, social awareness, attention for the medium and long term, joy, joy !, in one word.
This is something completely different from the false bliss caused by the excitement of risky projects of great utility and short-term glare. In these projects the desire to test one's own ability and self-sufficiency, that is, self-esteem, is often involved. Hope, on the other hand, favors projects in which learning itself is greatly appreciated thanks to the intervention and help of others, and in which we are looking for - knowingly waiting for - the correct development of events with great respect for their natural stages and times Hope walks hand in hand with humility.
Projects fueled by hope
Projects fueled by hope are often related to valuable stages of life. For example, the child expects to become an adult, the teenager expects to support himself, the student expects to finish his career; Everyone waits for their wedding day, to start a family, for their children to develop and make their own lives. In the exercise of the profession, hope feeds the project of exercising it in the service and benefit of others. The more the project is carried out, the more one helps others, such as the doctor who wants to practice his profession, in order to cure more and more sick people. All this, little by little, builds happiness.
On the other hand, projects that are not fueled by hope tend to be for self-love, for the desire to prove their own superiority, for the desire to show off, fame, pleasure, wealth, power. This is the case with the one who wants to stand out in the profession, rather than exercising it; For example, with the doctor who wants to stand out and be number one in your city, in your country or in the entire world, depending on the size of your ego.
In an effort to excel in their profession, there can only be one happy doctor in the city, in the country or in the entire world; While with the desire to exercise their profession, all doctors can be happy healing their patients. The desire to stand out in the profession, competing with others, is something distressing, which causes insecurity, fear, unhappiness; On the other hand, the desire to practice the profession, in collaboration with others, is something hopeful, which produces serenity, security, tranquility, happiness.
Hope shows us a cozy and beautiful world
Hope leads us to see this world as a gift and to enjoy living in it, taking care of it, cultivating it, serving it, making it more welcoming and trying to leave it - for those who come later - a little better than how we find it. He who has no hope - let's eat and drink, that tomorrow we will die! - wants to eat the world as soon as possible, get rich, dominate, be served, admire and fear.
The old father of one of my friends made me observe, telling me: Look at all these boys who leave the universities wanting to eat the world; What they don't know is that the world is going to eat them. And it's true; I have been able to observe how easily they are devoured by the world, and how they live without hope. There is always someone more powerful than one, richer, more famous, more handsome, smarter. The desire to be number one is something useless; and whoever succeeds, the taste lasts one day; It's hopeless.
Hope does not drive us to eat the world selfishly, but to feed it altruistically, taking care of it and cultivating it with the help of others, and especially with that of God. Then the world is seen as a cozy home, where we and our children can live and grow at ease. And from all this it is clear that today, by wanting to eat the world competitively, we are losing hope.
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