Is Hope a Vice?

What if hope is holding us back?

Hope is uncertain

I believe too often hope holds us back. We hope for a different future and a different reality, instead of making the best use of what we got now.

For example we look into the future and hope for money, hope for more free time, hope for more resources and new technologies. But in looking into this near-distant future, we fail to reap the benefits of the present moment.

Hope strings us along

Many ancients have thought of hope as a vice, as it allows corrupt rulers to string along citizens towards a false and uncertain future.

For example, politicians always promise a better future for us. But how few of them actually stay true to their word?

Why gamble?

"Good things happen". Michigan lottery, 2013
“Good things happen”. Michigan lottery, 2013

Also, consider gambling, lottery, etc. They prey on our bias of hope: merchants of false hopes, which hold us back.

Financial hope

suits gold red tie

Many people also strive to accumulate money, wealth, and “save” in order for a better future. But what if we took a pause, and asked ourselves:

What do we really want ONCE we achieve ‘financial freedom’?

Most people don’t think this far ahead.

And also: do you truly need ‘financial freedom’ before doing what your final end or aim is?

What is our final goal?

Selfie body muscle chest

For example, for a long time I wanted financial freedom in order to feel more free, to have more control over my schedule and time, to travel more, to photograph more, and to not be concerned with reporting to someone else.

But what did I truly want? To make photos, art, and philosophize. And I realized that when I became self-employed, it was certainly 100x better than being employed, but still — self-employment didn’t guarantee my personal happiness. I still needed to work very hard in order to discover joy through making art, writing, thinking, and philosophizing.

Hoping for tranquility

Another thought:

Many of us want “peace”, “zen”, and tranquility. But once we achieve it — then what?

We don’t want peace of mind for the sake of peace of mind.

I think we want peace of mind IN ORDER to be able to focus on what is truly important to us. To NOT be bothered by extraneous things on the outside.

Once again:

We want peace IN ORDER to focus and maximize on working on what is truly important to us.


Philosophy by KIM

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