Gratitude and Hope – from Vaclav Havel

hope

The kind of hope I often think about (especially in situations that are particularly hopeless, such as prison), I understand above all as a state of mind, not a state of the world.

…it is a dimension of the soul; it’s not essentially dependent on some particular observations of the world or estimate of the situation.  Hope is not prognostication.  It is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart;

It transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons.

Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but, rather, an ability to work for something

Because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.  The more unpropitious the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper that hope is.

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism.  It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.

In this profound sense, a grateful heart is also a hopeful heart.


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.