Is it hesitation or is it careful consideration? Is it “being nice” or is it “being fearful”? Is it doubt or merely kindness? Is it being in my power or is it being mean?
There was a myriad of emotions which presented these last few weeks from these questions. And when the resolution arrived, it brought forth a deeper question.
What is hope?
This question has been considered by the spiritually-minded to the most atheistic philosophers and scientists. I do not presume to begin exploring hope in such esteemed manner. Suffice to say, hope is critical to the psychological functioning in our lives.
My considered approach and optimism have always been underpinned by a sense of hope and faith that life unfolds beyond my control and humans are essentially good. Introspectively, there is a certain naivety or idealism in believing people generally are capable of learning from their mistakes at the least, and seek to avoid repeating their mistakes.
And because of them, I do not make my decisions lightly – hoping that if given the opportunity, people will learn and seek to do better. It is neither trying to be nice nor to be kind when I hesitate in taking a step that is wholly within my power.
The human experience demands much from us, and we are doing the best we can in our circumstance. So who am I to expect more than what another can offer?
Taking action within my power comes with its consequences. Perhaps it causes a dent on someone’s confidence or a blow to another’s fragile hold on his sanity. Not being entirely pessimistic, a powerful action can also mean having someone’s back, supporting another’s sense of self, or reinforcing the justice of a situation.
I take care when I am called to action. It is less about doubting myself rather because I am cognisant of its potential impact on another, and not desiring to harm. Perhaps it is a “fear” of hurting another, or not wanting to appear mean. Perhaps it goes back to a conditioned psychic response of being a nice person, a good girl with the approval of others. I do not take my actions lightly, nor do I take action impulsively.
I have had much time to first ponder, then to sit with these apparent conflicting or contradictory reasons and arising feelings these past weeks.
Hope is our internal process of a universal experience. It is a mediating power, our intimate association with that which is greater than and beyond us. It is a spiritual state, in as much as a psychological one.
The fine balance between my sense of hope and the pragmatic assessment of a particular situation demands that I stand in my power to manage this secular life, amidst people (myself included) having flawed human experience and expression.
My realisation is this, people’s behaviours are less about me and more about their awareness and process of living their lives.
While people are essentially good, it does not naturally mean they are capable of behaving well, nor changing their ways.
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