The pundits and talking heads have finished analyzing the events of the past year. People all over are recovering from their celebrations heralding the arrival of 2008. The new crystal ball in Times Square has fallen, and the streets of New York have already been cleaned up from the tons of confetti and garbage of last night’s revelry. The last football game of this New Year’s Day is almost over, releasing millions (mostly men) from the trance of the Bowl games. This is a good a time as any to talk about hope.


I admit, hope may not be the first thing that comes to the mind of someone surveying the current state of our world. Faced with wars, poverty, global warming, depletion of the planet’s resources, materialism, hunger and the myriad of ills made immediate by the various media, it’s easy to grow weary and cynical. And yet, this is the time when we most need to reach out, for hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances we know to be desperate.


As we had a quiet evening last night with friends, sharing food, wine and stories while waiting for the clock to strike midnight, I was reminded by our conversation of all the acts of kindness each of us had witnessed in our lives. We remarked that this was somehow contrary to what we might have expected, conditioned as we are by the media to be afraid of our fellow man, and that we should listen to our experience, and allow hope in the goodness of others to have a more prominent place at our table.


Reflecting on my own life, being born and raised in a Communist dictatorship, I would have had difficulty 20 years ago in believing that my homeland would now be free, that the Berlin Wall would fall, that Communism would topple in its own homeland. I also have to acknowledge all the angels who have appeared in my life, who’ve given me aid and comfort at times I least expected. There are many who have been less fortunate than I. There are more who have been afraid to accept someone reaching out to them, not recognizing the grace they are being offered, having given up on hope, fearful of another disappointment.


I’m not a Pollyanna.  I recognize the myriad ways in which we can ensure our eventual destruction in this world. I also recognize in ourselves the capacity to overcome adversity. There is a folk-tale about Destiny, who appeared to three inhabitants of an island. “What would you do,” asked Destiny, “if I told you that tomorrow this island will be completely inundated by an immense tidal wave?”

The first man, a cynic, said, “I would drink, carouse, and make love all night long!”

The second man, a pagan, said, “I would go the sacred temple, make sacrifices to the gods, and pray without ceasing.”

The third man, fearful and troubled, replied, “I would assemble our wisest men and begin at once to study how to live under water.”


Hope, which whispered from Pandora’s box only after all the other plagues and sorrows had escaped, is the best and last of all things. Without it, there is only time. And time pushes at our backs like a centrifuge, forcing us outward and away, until it nudges us into oblivion. Wishing you all hope in the New Year,


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21 Responses to Hope

  1. Beth says:

    First, thank you for stopping by my space and leaving a comment.
    This was an excellent post.  Thank you!

  2. janett says:

    Wow,I believe it\’s a nice thing to start the year by resolving problems depending on the experiences that we had in the past,it\’s very important to build the present thinking about the future of the coming generations,again i wish you a year full of positive things.

  3. PJ says:

    Good Morning Jorge,
    Life and hope are inseparable.Life is the body, and hope is the intuitive divinity in us, the divinity that wants to transcend the reality which we presently are.
    Until next time..Keep Smiling.

  4. J says:

    An excellent point Jorge. Without grace there is no hope!

  5. Holy says:

    "best and last of all things" – well said and so true or so I imagine when I stare out my little worldview window.This year, I\’ve resolved (amongst many other things, if you read my most recent post from minutes ago) to cheat on my trusty companion, Reason, with that provocative flirt, Faith, who has been hanging around and batting her eyelashes at me lately. Reason is really much more polygamous than I might otherwise give credit for, but I\’ve been acting like it\’s a monogamous relationship.  I hope to change that this year.  I not so secretly look forward to a menage-a-trois, for I know the two would make great bedfellows.Happy New Year to you too, mon amie.PS – all reason aside – I\’m the first man.  Carpe diem from first to last breath.  So you\’d best save some champagne, just in case.

  6. Jane says:

    Hope is life\’s engine 🙂

  7. Aimee says:

    life is full of surprises…
    *~* :o) before you put on a frown… :o) make sure there are no smiles available… :o) *~*

  8. Gelert says:

    Hello Jorge. Just got back from a surprise New Year away. No new blog yet, but wanted to say thanks for stopping by to wish the New Year in, for your thoughtful post, and for being you. Didn\’t know you were raised in Germany – is that right?

  9. Michelle says:

    Hope is what I have clinged to many, many times when on the brink of destruction, that one little glimmer of hope of a brighter future ahead if I can just hang in there and tough out this moment of time, then tomorrow or the next hour can be brighter.
    Great entry as always. 

  10. Hope says:

    Hi, strong and powerfull post.. very  powerful post..
    what would we do without hope , faith, or love.. we live in such an unsettled world.. one does have to hold onto something..
    its good that we can hold onto friends such as yourself.. keep your light shinning ..
    the new year weather wise here has come in with softness.. a blessing really..
    hope your keeping warm.. and safe..
    may your day be kind..
    hugs ~Hope

  11. Bittersweet on-the-hill. says:

    Hello Jorge,
    Happy New Year and many blessings in the coming year. I enjoyed reading your entry for the 1st of 2008. Always insightful and a joy to read. I hope we continue to journey through bloggland this coming year.  Be well my friend.   Bittersweet

  12. zizicmp3 says:

    Hello ….. I just thank you for your passage home I wish you a very good weekend!! Sinceres friendships Olivier bientot

  13. CM says:

    As always, I came here and was refreshed.  Thanks for the New Hope for the New Year.  May you have a Blessed New Year and a great weekend.  hugs, mtgal

  14. Joe says:

    Hi J,
    Just dropped in and (as usual) picked-up some food for thought.  I\’m never disappointed when I visit your blog or read the comments from your "virtual friends".  I\’ll raise my glass to 2008 and hope that we (collectively) move forward on the road to enlightenment.
    Best Wishes,

  15. Embrace says:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/redwillow/2173672245/&quot; title="SnowyOwl-in-Fight by RedWillow2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2077/2173672245_1f51b18032.jpg&quot; width="500" height="423" alt="SnowyOwl-in-Fight" /></a>Hi J ,
    Im stopping to wish you a wonderful week.  Postive Blog.
    Hope this photo works for you.
    Lisa 🙂

  16. dawn says:


    this has got the be my favorite post of all that you have written: HOPE.
    i\’m much grateful for the sharing of your history, your feelings, your
    perspectives,  your life experiences, wisdom, humor,,, & hey for a
    scientist, you\’re alright !

    Hope is the standing—
          of life\’s coldest, darkest storm
          then see a rainbow forming .. on the horizon

    \’with sinking pessimism about the intractability of the problems which
    the human race faces, i fear that i may end up in disillusionment or
    even cynicism cos despite how hard i try along this bumpy path called
    life—  turbulence. as a mortal being i feel truly helpless. but thank
    God there are still people like you, who will give not up. lastly, i
    leaving words of A.Einstein which rings true to me:
    "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

    p.s: Delightful is your presence on my space— Thank you & Welcome, my friend. stay blessed, dawn

  17. Betty says:

    Hi Jorge,
    Thank you for the hope.  Without hope, what is there?

  18. sweeti's says:

    afraid to accept someone reaching out
    Ppl are afraid to trust the helping hand….coz of the things they experience of course…
    Life aint easy..for most ppl
    its a very interesting entry Jorge.
    I feel so blessed  with my health…  my friends…my work..the things i do.The love around me
    Oke  we all have our worries   …but when i see and hear things around me,i realise that i have an easy life, and im gratefulll…
    God bless u

  19. Jungle Mama says:

    Okay, I have to just say this.  I was brimming over with hope until I read this line:
    Faced with wars, poverty, global warming, depletion of the planet’s resources, materialism, hunger and the myriad of ills made immediate by the various media!
    No, actually it was a really nice post and it did bring me back to hope again.  I have a really good feeling about this year.  I mean, it can\’t get any worse than last year, right? 🙂

  20. Hope says:

    Hi Jorge,
    you made me laugh today after reading your comment.. thank you for that..
    sorry you have to work this weekend.. but no I would assume that no one is going to feel sorry, seeings how its 78 degrees there.
    here its a sweltering 29F.. "grins".. its even cold in the house. but I do have blankets , sweaters, and a coat.. so no reason  to bitch..
    ha ha ha ha… although I fear I have been lately..
    this winter has been a strange one.. we usually have lots of snow.. but the past few years.. the winter has been colder, less snow, and shorter.. the shorter part is fine with me.. "smile"
    I hope your weekend will be kind.. that work will go smoothly.. and you find time to relax, reflect and enjoy that beautiful weather..
    soft hugs ~Hope

  21. Marge says:

    Thank you for your encouraging words in this entry and
    thank you for demonstrating, each time you post anew,
    what true character, humanity, compassion and good humor
    really are.
    Jorge, my good and wise friend, I shall never give up hope;

    it is one of the things which keeps me going…
    Thank you for the gift of your friendship.
    (A certain scruffy old bear sends his best, as well…)

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