Wednesday, January 12, 2011

About Hope

My friend, Tracey, has a great blog post today on the evils of Hope. Hope being evil? According to the ancients it was. That's why Hope was in Pandora's Jar. It was the greatest of all evils because it deluded humans into believing they could defy the will of the gods.

Hope is part of our survival mechanism. If we look at our emotional framework as an evolutionary construct (90% of human history was pre-civilization, meaning we were hunter-gatherers struggling to survive most of our existence) Hope arose as a means of survival. Survival of the Fittest as Darwin proposed not only includes the physically and mentally strong, but the emotionally strong as well.

When times were tough, when there was no food and villages were starving, those that not only had the strength to survive but also the belief that they would survive did so. It allowed them to believe that there was another day to come. That they could find an animal farther down the Savannah, or a source of water, or a berry bushes on the other side of the mountain path, etc.

Remember, humans were originally nomadic people. That's how we populated the Earth. Without Hope this would never have been possible.

So, we may begrudge Hope for deluding us, make us believe that the impossible is possible , but Hope, above all, has made us human.


  1. Great post, Steve! (And thanks for the shout-out!)

    Yup, it's no wonder Hope was in Pandora's Box. It's a double edged sword, for sure. We need it, and yet it deludes us. *le sigh*

  2. Excellent post, Steve. I'm due for a blog post tomorrow, so I'll see if I can say something about hope too.

  3. Interesting post, Steve. Makes sense why we can't abandon all hope no matter how hard we try.