At the risk of becoming a little philosophical, and perhaps also over-generalizing, I’d like to share som thinking that has been going on in my head. The theme has been to explore what leads to a full life. I’ve come to believe that a full life involves moving accross the full emotional spectrum from hope to despair.
My take on modern, western middle-class life (ergo, my life) is that we know rather little about this emotional spectrum. Most of us tend to live our lives in the middle range. Relatively safe and relatively comfortable. Over time this creates a form of numbness in life. We believe we’re living the full life, but mostly we’re exposed to quasi-hope (I hope I get a raise) and quasi-despair (my cat injured his leg).
Then som real shit happens. A friend or relative dies. Or you get cancer. Despair and full crisis. I’m not playing this down, just trying to put this theme in a wider context.
What I never encounter is genuine hope. I can’t seem to bring it out of myself. And can’t see hope around me in my everyday life. Why? I haven’t got a clue. I could sense it last time I was in South Africa, together with a deeper version of despair. Agonizing, but the dynamics in life seem to come from having and accepting the full spectrum.
Don’t be an asshole now and put me off as an idiot who wishes people despair. I don’t. But I think we sould be better at uncovering and accepting it. Because it’s there, be it in Africa or Sweden. But my main point here is to explore hope. To create a counter-balance. So we can live life to the full – and endure despair better.