Hope springs eternal is a phrase from Alexander Pope’s poem “An Essay on Man”. It has since become an idiom that simply means that people will keep on hoping, no matter what the odds are.
During a recent encounter with a man who is self-employed, and trying to make ends meet in a system that isn’t kind to entrepreneurs. We talked about a whole lot but what stood out for me in the entire conversation was when I asked if he was worried about the state of the nation, his answer was and I quote “I don’t worry, I hope.” Talk about positive affirmation.
Our Nigerian version of hope springs eternal is “E go better” and the one youths use nowadays in pop culture ” We will be fine last last”. I am yet to meet a more hopeful people than Nigerians. We believe that there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel even if it is pitch-black darkness. Sitting next to a Nigerian in a bus or an office waiting room, the complaints about the state of the nation outweighs any discussion that could have ever come up, but it always ends with the optimism that things will one day get better.
I could blame our chronic hopefulness on religion or culture. Even when the country is beyond redemption, we still hope for a better future. Ah!
It is hard to stay hopeful when you are worried to death. It requires determined attention and a superb combination of focus, concentration, and surrender.
There are those who say that hope is futile, a waste of time, of precious energy. They contend that hope is completely unrealistic. That people who hope are delusional but here’s the thing, studies have shown that optimistic people consistently out-perform those who consider themselves to be more realistic because they place fewer restrictions on themselves. If you don’t know that something is impossible, you are more likely able to achieve it. Things are only impossible until they are not.
There have surely been times in your own life when your problems seemed insurmountable, yet you retained your inner hope, which enabled you to overcome, and grow in personal wisdom and as a person.
Oxford defines hope as a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen. In other words, hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes regardless of the circumstance.
Another description of Hope is to keep the faith. To continue to believe in, trust, or support someone or something when it is difficult to do so. We have been tried, tested and pushed to the wall by our dear country that giving up seems to be a very appealing option. Even when there are seemingly few possibilities of escape from misery, we have persevered and persisted in holding onto slim threads of hope.
That one day we might be able to make good decisions that will lead to economic boom and development. That the cost of living in our dear country will improve and people will no longer die in penury. That one day our healthcare will rival those of the developed countries that we visit on medical tourism.
Hope plays major roles in our everyday living.
In ancient prescientific times and also currently, people feel that the spirit of hope has the power to heal afflictions, reverse bad luck, and ward off evil spirits. Charms and amulets, extremely popular in all cultures, act as “security blankets” and symbols of hopes and wishes for good fortune.
Hope has the ability to help people heal faster and easier. Individuals who maintain hope, especially when battling illness, significantly enhance their chances of recovery. In general, people who possess hope and think optimistically have a greater sense of well being.
Hope also contributes to the human predisposition to help others who are in distress, including loved ones as well as strangers. Hope as expressed by Martin Luther King’s eloquent “I Have A Dream” speech inspired many to carry his hopeful message forward.
I know it is difficult to hold on to hope when you are in deep turmoil but remember, “E go better” and that “you will be fine last last”.