The Hopelessness of Hope


“In classical Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman on Earth. Zeus ordered Hephaestus to create her, which he did, using water and earth. The gods endowed her with many gifts: Athena clothed her, Aphrodite gave her beauty, Apollo gave her musical ability, and Hermes gave her speech.

When Prometheus stole fire from heaven, Zeus took vengeance [on mankind] by presenting Pandora to Prometheus’ brother Epimetheus. Pandora was given a wedding gift of a beautiful jar, with instructions to not open it under any circumstance. Impelled by her curiosity (given to her by the gods) Pandora opened it and all evil contained therein escaped and spread over the earth. She hastened to close the container, but the whole contents had escaped; Apate and all the others, except for one thing that lay at the bottom – the Spirit of Hope, named Elpis…”

Taken from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandora’s_box

I am reminded of this story when all I see around me is evil and sadness. I posted a status update with the very shortened version of the story of Pandora’s Box and I pretty much said that people were going to continue to wreak havoc on the world but would not destroy themselves completely because they still had hope; the hope that the evils of the world could not touch them or the hope that tomorrow things would be better.

I received a few comments in response filled with positivity. My wall and newsfeed, although peppered with news of the sadness of yet another Malaysian Airline flight going down and the continued fighting in Gaza, was full of happy people. There were proud parents, pictures of beautiful art, quotes that made life seem wonderful , photographs of waterfalls and sunsets, wins in cricket and a whole host of other ‘good’ things.

It is hopeful, it’s in our nature to be hopeful otherwise, with all the pain and sorrow we see in the world around us, why would we bother going on? But today, I’m wondering whether Zeus, up there, on Mount Olympus is laughing heartily at it all. “Look at those silly little mortals! Look at them destroy each other and then get back up and keep going!” Oh, the humiliation! 

Today I’m angry that the rest of the world is not angrier. If we could just pull together, work together to solve the world’s problems (which, incidentally, is not that hard when you put ego and borders and world debt aside) and hold up one big, gigantic middle finger to Zeus, up there, wouldn’t it just be wonderful?

I’m doing small things, in my way; little acts of kindness that barely need mentioning; a smile there, a donation here, a wild goose chase to find an orphanage there, (another story!) but how much can we do as individuals? I’m just such a tiny drop in the ocean and the ocean is so huge, ruled over by Poseidon and his corrupt cronies, that I feel like I’m drowning!

Oh well, best to keep swimming, I suppose!

There’s always tomorrow and there’s always hope.

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7 thoughts on “The Hopelessness of Hope

  1. I had a very similar conversation in my meditation group yesterday. …there are many of us who are feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of pain on our planet and yet today where I live the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming and im hanging out in my garden and im content and accepting of what is right now and here for me….an optimist that believes we as in all and every being on the planet will get it eventually ♡

  2. Thanks, Trees! To be honest have been feeling quite down for a while. Perhaps I could blame it on hormones! But today, as I look at the picture of the sky I took, I’m just blown away by nature. So what if human beings are stupid and selfish, in general, sometimes it’s important to just look up, and count the colours in the sky. 🙂

  3. I feel overwhelmed and hopeless by the pain in our world and am not sure it will improve. Being in nature and connecting with friends and family help me. I hope my children experience a better world. As for happy postings, I fear that is simply cultural and perhaps borne out of competitive ego. Isn’t that what FB is for – to post happy family and vacation photos? We are driven to survive, to live, and to be hopeful. May we do the best we can for our world and the world our children inherit.

    • Amen…
      Not that I’m very religious but what you’ve written resonates so well. Yes…may we do the best for our children and our world, because all we can really do is pray and hope and bless and curse.

  4. Thanks, Sall. I had a feeling I wasn’t alone in this helplessness. Children are dying on a daily basis and all we can do is stand by and watch, perhaps stage the occasional protest. But yes, we are driven by hope. So I will continue to hope, and like you, I hope things will be different in the future, for the children we have chosen to bring in to this broken and ailing planet of ours.

  5. You can say I am feeling optimistic off late and am being positive recently, but I really do believe and do have hope that things will change for humanity. Am not saying this blindly but because am having these amazing opportunities of knowing people like yourself and many more lovely and wonderful people who are able to see, feel, think and act beyond all the silly boundaries that we have created for ourselves as human beings in the name of color, gender, region, religion, faith, belief, materials and what not all….and I have been lucky to have met more and more of them with passage of time by different means. It gives me immense hope that am not alone and there are many many more of such twinkling lights around and enough of these one day, will brighten all corners of the dark and hopeless world. These twinkling lights may be small but are really powerful as they have this immense power of lighting more such lights around them, just by twinkling!! So all I have to do right now is twinkle just like you!!! 🙂

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