Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hope vs Nature

People live in hope. And I don't just mean some people. Most everyone lives with a thought at the back of their minds that things will in fact get better for themselves just through the power of imagination.

This improvement in circumstance doesn't always consist of things going positively. We can hope that say a murderer, finds his or her comeuppance in a prison or by someone who is much worse than they are. We hope sometimes that we may win a lottery jackpot or that the football team we support but are not part of, will win. When a particularly foolish person makes a choice that the majority of us find favourable, we are moved to use the phrase "there is hope for him yet". That is to say that this person is reforming and perhaps getting a little smarter by sheer chance. We rely on hope a bit too much I think. After all, it is that which moves the very cars in front of you during a bad traffic jam. The power of the mind is indeed a force to be reckoned with. Well, so it seems. Hate to be the person who says "I told you so", but when that stroke of good fortune blows in favour of my short fuse I'll do just that. After all, I hoped it would happen, didn't I?

Or maybe hope is what we use to cover the fact that we are just at the mercy of nature. Are we not of nature, after all? In fact to say that mankind is natural and that we should in fact live life naturally implies that yes, we are indeed at the mercy of good 'ol mother nature. Mother nature... the very uttering of this name shows how comfortable we like to think we are in it's presence. Nature nurtures us like our big 'ol mama... if she were a serial killer and could command a tsunami. If we are a product of nature, our "hope" can never really better it... or can it?

Maybe we want to ignore a person's nature by hoping that they will change. Maybe we can't face that this traffic jam is going nowhere fast and therefore would rather occupy our minds with the constant hope that it will move because we want it to. I'm sure all those others in all those cars feel the same way. Why doesn't it move then? All that hope has gotta be worth something, right? Perhaps the other team has stronger players and we maybe, just picked the wrong side? One can indeed hope that one can fly a plane plummeting into the sea, but we stand a much better chance learning the art of flying than relying on chance. There is no hope of chance leaning in our favour really. Or maybe there is. I'm sure a book keeper would like your cash, when you're ready. We hope and pray that those gunmen will release the hostages. The people who follow their good nature to the point of justice will make sure of it. Hope doesn't really help them, action does. When we pit our hopes against the bad actions of others, quite often we find it was in vain. When those miners got trapped in that hole hope didn't rescue them... people with good nature did. Because you know nature doesn't have any intentions, but it usually ends up all right in the end. We cope. Because right at the centre of that angry nature that wants traffic to move because you don't want to miss Coronation Street, we have a good one, that stops us massacring those between the telly and our good selves.

We hope things won't happen again, but it does not stop nature. As with humans, nature is a product of nurture... if we are nurtured just right, we may find ourselves at the helpful end of humanity. We will be more patient, understanding of circumstances and generally more virtuous.

But it's just an Ideal theory, right?

 I hope so.

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