Hope Is Sweeter Than Despair

My recently adopted theme for my life is Hope Is Sweeter Than Despair 

These words were written by Thomas Jefferson in one of his many letters written in 1786. That was ten years after our Declaration of Independence and three years after it was actually obtained by a bloody war.  Jefferson was in Paris at the time as one of our first ambassadors.  It would be another year before our Constitution was ratified and put into law.  The letter was basically a very long love letter to Maria Cosway but as is often the case it reflected the feelings of his soul.  Much of the letter was written around the idea that the heart says one thing while the head says another.

I take heart in those words as they relate to our current circumstances. There are many around our country today who despair of the current times. There is a totally unqualified person in the Oval Office, a Congress has been  stuck in a total gridlock mode for several years, and so many have almost given up any hope that things can and will get better.

canstockphoto10092654.jpgBut to me “Hope is sweeter than despair”. I simply can’t live with the possibility of today becoming the new norm for our country.  When one of my fellow bloggers who I probably admire the most proclaims that “Empathy is dead in our government” it shocked me to no end. This person is usually a very upbeat soul who blogs that anyone can have a happy and satisfying retirement and then helps us to understand how to make that happen. He is now basically saying that we are all on our own as the future will be “survival of the fittest” so you have to take care of yourself.

A world without empathy is not a world I care to live in and since I don’t plan on going anywhere else for the immediate future I refuse to fret about that possibility.  I will cling to my hope that these times are an anomaly that will soon fail under its own weight. To relate that belief I will start blogging here about how we have faced dark periods in our past as a country and managed to survive them.  I will humbly try to give my readers hope to replace the despair in their lives. Yes, things are bad now but they have been bad in the past and we survived them and we will survive these current times and have much better times ahead.

3 thoughts on “Hope Is Sweeter Than Despair

  • I also read the same blog and I agree. It does seem that we do not care about anybody but ourselves and our “tribe”. We keep waiting for the government to “do something” to fix it. To be honest I probably lack a bit of empathy myself. For example I have very little empathy for people living in small towns [that are dying or stagnant] bitching that their town is dying and “needs to be saved” so they can stay there. Really? Why? If it’s not a good place to be anymore then move. Heck your ancestors hopped on a boat and sailed thousands of miles to a strange land to make a better life and you won’t even move 50 miles to a more livable location. Why should I have any empathy? Why should we spend any time or money on this?

    In spite of this I hope you are right but I’m not optimistic about it. As far as I can see Trump is merely a manifestation of where we are as a country. As an example the very idea that a President would pardon a person like Joe Arpaio and also call him a national hero and patriot, without major condemnation from virtually everybody including the GOP is a fairly good bell-weather of where we are. I recently read a screed from some Marine General on how the NFL needs to fine and discipline those players who disrespect the flag but I have yet to see this guy or anybody really give Trump any grief about this pardon and his comments. If Joe is a hero and patriot then we have set the hero bar pretty low. it sure sets the tone for law enforcement to abuse the laws that protect us.

    The fact that even a large population of [so called] “Christians” in this country voted for him and probably still think he is doing a good job is a pretty good indicator that we are in deep trouble. Right now if God handed me a button to push that would destroy the earth it would be very tempting to push it.

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  • Bob, I feel exactly like you do. We are headed down a long path fueled by racism, greed, religious fanaticism, ignorance and moral deterioration. I can’t see a way back at this point. It certainly is a study in self destruction.

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  • It is sad to see you both in this state. I hope I can convince you that things were even worse in past situations and we managed to recover and we will from these times too. Just hang in there… and maybe pay a little less attention to what goes on in the Oval Office… 🙂

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