The dark side of hope

The dark side of hope

If—like Aron Ralston—you’ve fallen into a crevasse, your right arm crushed by a huge boulder and no one around for miles, hope might be your best strategy to keep you alive till rescuers arrive.

On the other hand, when it comes to becoming successful and happy in life, hope should not be your go-to virtue.  In fact, …

Hope is not a virtue

How could it be?  Hope removes responsibility from yourself.  Hope has you wait for things to work out; either at the hands of those in power, or through the hands of God.  In both cases YOU don’t act for the sake of the outcome you want.


Because you are hoping things will work out.  And while you wait, you pray and justify the small room your life occupies by saying that it’s God’s will.

Hope gives your power away.

This does not contradict the existence of God

It may seem that way, but it doesn’t.  It may only conflict with your current beliefs about God.  What we weren’t taught is that beliefs function to keep us comfortable, and to keep the establishment in place; not to provide us with the truth.  If you were concerned with the truth, with time your beliefs would change, evolve and some would even be rejected.

There are other perspectives that would allow you to see that your belief in Karma, and God’s will can completely keep you in a prison of justification for the way your life is turning out.  It’s Karma or God’s will, and therefore you accept it.

Perhaps God’s will is for you to take responsibility for your own life.

Perhaps God is eating popcorn, drinking a soda, on the edge of Her seat, gripped by the choice you will make next.

Seems more likely than a God choosing to make things work out for you—or not—depending on whether He thinks you’re sufficiently hopeful, worthy etc.


If Aron Ralston relied on hope there wouldn’t book a book called Between a Rock and a Hard Place and the movie 127 Hours.  Aron cut his own arm off with the equivalent of a swiss army knife and then hiked his way out to find help.

He placed his faith in himself and took courageous action to save his own life.

What about you?  Are you taking responsibility for how your life is turning out?  If you are you’ll be taking actions to make sure it turns out the way you want.

If not, I hope it turns out OK.


Any thoughts? Contributions/acknowledgments welcome.