About hoping then unhoping

Since I started my hope journey a couple of months ago, I have had some reason to question my determination to be hopeful. A couple of times now, I have found myself starting to hope for something that I hadn’t otherwise dared to hope because an opportunity opened up that I’d not expected. Just to have that hope dashed to the ground.

For example, I was called in for an interview for an amazing job that I’d not even thought existed, and then I didn’t get the job. When I found out about the job, I didn’t hope – I knew that we live in a competitive work environment. When I got called for the interview I began to hope and by the time I did the interview, I was fiercely hopeful. Then I learned that they offered the job to someone else, and a few hours of tears ensued. This is just one example.

Yes, this has happened a few times in the past few months. Some of these hopes have been too intimate even to put into words for myself, much less for a blog. They leave me wondering, why should I hope? Wouldn’t I be better off if I opted not to hope, if I instead chose to just disconnect myself emotionally until such time as my hope materialised into something concrete? Skip over hope – go from clueless to confident?

Even as I write these words, I am sure it is not something I will do. Hope is the stuff humanity is made of. Even if every fresh blossom of hope is followed by a storm of tears, it’s better to enjoy the flowers and hide from the rain than it would be to live in the desert forever, right? Unless it’s a beautiful desert like Wadi Rum, where the stones reflect colour as beautiful as any colour…


It’s a profound truth that has become cliché… in Eastern philosophy it is the yin and the yang. In music it is the fortes and the pianissimos, the allegros and the andantes. In Western religion it is heaven and hell, paradise and fire. Cliché it may be, but oh how we need it. Hope: the source of so much of our pain. Hope: the substance of our joy.

One thing I love about Lebanon is that they have this hoping-unhoping thing mastered: such beauty frames such turmoil

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