“Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you are my only hope” – Star Wars, Episode IV

The interesting thing about that word hope – the dictionary definition (choose your online dictionary of choice; wordnik, Merriam Webster online) is simply:

  • v.To wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment.
  • v. Archaic To have confidence; trust.
  • v.To look forward to with confidence or expectation: We hope that our children will be successful.
  • The belief or expectation that something wished for can or will happen.

Perhaps the last underlying additional bit that accompanies the definition (in Merriam Webster) is what irks those who are trying to base our lives and futures in reality – “hope implies little certainty but suggests confidence or assurance in the possibility that what one desires or longs for will happen.”

When people say, “I hope things will be OK,” it seems to translate to “I hope things will keep going the way they always have been going, with little change in my life.”   This, of course, is said with little knowledge of the reality most of us in the Peak Everything world have absorbed.

If there is any ‘hope for the future’, my own view leans towards this –  hoping for solutions isn’t a realistic thing.  We’ve got lots and lots of predicaments, not just a few solvable problems.   Hoping for anything (in the wish fulfillment sense) is truly wishful (not based in reality) thinking.   If we can ‘hope’ for anything in this mad future of ours, perhaps we should hope (in the archaic way) that at least some of us can greet the future as honestly as possible.  Yeah, we are going to have our Flatland biases, and yeah, lots of people are going to ignore reality, and yeah, it is going be painful (and a pain in the ass).   My own efforts in this regard are very mixed, but there are a few fraction of folks who are trying to greet this unpleasant future head on.


  • Is this just some sneaky selective usage of an archaic definition?  Should we just ban the use of the word ‘hope’, and be done with it?
  • ‘Hope’ always does sound so… “positive.”  Knowing what we know, can we “hope” for anything negative, or is this just being a pessimist with wish fulfillment?  There’s a classic Woody Allen line, “More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”  If we choose extinction, are we choosing hope?





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