The Perspicacity of Hope

The following is the text of a message I delivered to our monthly “Inside Outfitters” men’s group; a group that typically includes 50-60 men of all ages from Minnesota Teen Challenge a faith-based residential drug and alcohol recovery program.

Somewhere or another I heard someone waxing eloquently about having the audacity to hope. Those seemed to me to be strange words to combine since the definition of audacity includes references such as “reckless” and “rash”. While hope may be criticized or extolled, mocked or encouraged, it is not reckless or foolish. Hope is also both dangerous and endangered and the times we’re living through seem almost engineered to crush hope.

This suggests to me that hope has never been more important, or more of a threat to the status quo. Rather than “audacity” we should endorse the perspicacity of hope. What do I mean by that (literally, what do I mean)?

2 thoughts on “The Perspicacity of Hope

  1. “You must realize that an enemy always tries to destroy your hope so that you see no benefit in continuing the fight. If he can defeat you mentally and spiritually, then you are defeated physically.”

    How interesting this post is, especially as I have been rereading my Foundation novels. The story of The Mule and how he defeated The Foundation, essentially through mass depression. It could almost be a gimmicky plot device (in hands other than Isaac Asimov’s, of course) but for the fact that I have experienced it myself.

    It’s interesting, then, to see that usually revolutions ‘by the people’ are often led by those who are not the proletariat but in fact a dissenting part of the ruling class. The proletariat is typically too downtrodden, too hopeless to conceive of revolution.

    Stripping someone of their ‘hope’ is also a key part of torture.

    You are right, we should guard well our hope and faith.

  2. Thanks, Hayden. An interesting contrast in the “working or ruling class” dynamic of starting revolutions is the example of William Wallace (Braveheart) and Robert the Bruce in the Scottish wars of independence. Wallace was the heart and soul of the people, but the nation needed the crediblity of the often wishy-washy Bruce.

    The American Revolution could perhaps be described as a middle-class revolution as the founding fathers were farmers/landowners and tradesmen who, informed by their education and whose hope was stirred by their faith, shook free from tryanny and the status quo.

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