Hope or Fear
The Power of Hope in Troubled Times

We are living through the most intense period of change the human race has ever faced. Everything is up for renegotiation. Employment, religion, politics, marriage, housing, business, national borders, values, cultural norms — nothing will be spared. It is both exhilarating and terrifying.

Exhilarating because the old power structures are eroding, creating a rare opportunity for more equitable and just structures to emerge.

Terrifying because it feels like we are walking on quicksand — nothing is steady, nothing is stable.

Sorry for the inconvenienceEverything is up for renegotiation

A Fairer Deal for Humanity

It is tempting to recoil in fear and loathing when faced with this instability — to collapse into divisive ‘us vs them’ thinking and to attempt to resurrect some bygone era when things were ‘simple’ and ‘easy’. That option may appear attractive at first but it leads us down a perilous road. One we’ve been down far too many times before and cannot afford to go down again.

The alternative is to bravely step into the uncertainty with hope.

Hope that we can seize this unique opportunity to renegotiate a fairer deal for all of humanity and the 8.7 million other species we share the planet with.

Exploitation of disadvantaged peopleHow do we create a fairer deal for all?

Hope that we can build an economic system that harnesses the positive aspects of our competitive nature whilst protecting us from its shadow — the exploitation of disadvantaged people and the natural world.

Hope that we can reimagine the way we relate to each other by placing love, acceptance and forgiveness at the centre of our cultural norms, values and laws.


Hope that we can build a future where every human has the opportunity to realise their unique potential and thrive without harming the biosphere we depend on for our survival.

Hope like this will be met with cynicism and labelled naïve or idealistic. But cynics are usually wounded idealists — somewhere along the way we decided it hurt too much to have our dreams dashed so we decided to stop dreaming and to ridicule those who have the audacity to continue. We became fearful of dreams and of dreamers and our fear made us apathetic.

Holding onto the dream of a brighter futureHolding onto the dream of a brighter future

We Have to Do our Own Dreaming

But if you do not dream someone will do your dreaming for you and that dream might become a nightmare.

The time has come to throw off our cynicism and apathy. To find the courage to take our dreams out into the world and make them happen.

We cannot continue to sit quietly by and allow our future to be determined by the power hungry among us who prey on our cynicism and fear. The stakes are much too high now. Fear paralyses and divides us. Hope animates and unites us.

We are living through the most important moment the human race has faced to date. The moment when we determine whether our species will flourish or perish.

So what will it be?

Hope or fear?

Feature Image: Excerpt of an artwork by Cameron Gray

Read about the 12 Life Lessons from a Man Who’s Seen 12000 Deaths.

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TJ Nichols
TJ Nichols
4 years ago

Insert “narcissism” wherever you see the word “awareness”. Then the statements below make a great deal more sense!
“Ramana Maharshi put it this way: “You are awareness. Awareness is another name for you. Since you are awareness there is no need to attain or cultivate it. All that you have to do is to give up being aware of other things, that is, of the not-self. If one gives up being aware of them then pure awareness alone remains . . .””

TJ Nichols
TJ Nichols
4 years ago

You are only wrong about one thing: you forgot that “ignorance is bliss.” In an ignorant society, bliss can be found regardless of intelligence. All you need is power and/or money to mix with the ignorance – be it willful ignorance or blind ignorance.

TJ Nichols
TJ Nichols
4 years ago
Reply to  TJ Nichols

The woods are good for thinking and reflecting about what you most value. And bliss is there when the weather permits. Of course you can have both bliss and intelligence. And you can meditate, but you can change the world with more effort than meditation requires. Meditation is a tool. We shouldn’t be tools of Meditation, though.

4 years ago
Reply to  TJ Nichols

To be fair, I am usually playing disc golf. But, the mental focus required clears the mind in the same way as yoga while also stretching and strengthening the body. Not meditation per se, but I never did like to meditate. Same results, however.

I would never be a tool of anyone or anything and never have been.

I would also never presume to try to change the world. The best I can hope for is to change the minds of the unenlightened and perhaps their choices–to become those who don’t consume–would change and that would change the world.

The weather doesn’t bother me. I am out there 365. Rain and 80 degrees or 30 below zero works for me. It is what it is.

I’d like to be your friend. If you are on other social media, like Facebook, I’d be interested in finding you.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

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