Writer: Kholofelo Charmaine Bashele
Hope, a word I have been hearing a lot lately in the past few weeks. Firstly it was part and parcel of a fiery sermon at church, not forgetting to mention as a moral of a book I was reading. But I’m sure the biggest reminder, even now, has to be the hope embedded in many a hearts of South Africans, more so Africans, despite the loss, as the FIFA World Cup stepped jubilantly on African soil for the very first time in our history. I wondered if hope was a person, and given free reign over our lives, how differently would we be living? Would there even be anything to hope for? Or would we just simply receive our desires and see our goals and aspirations met before we even work on them? Would our visions instantly be brought to pass upon some sort of negotiation or a signature on a piece of paper? But what kind of life would that be? We’d never really know what it felt like to want something with every fibre of our being, and start preparing to get it. Put our hearts and souls in it, work ourselves senseless to achieve all of that. There could be many reasons why hope is what it is, but I’m most certain persistence goes hand in hand with it. Because hope devoid in persistence, would never really feel the chieftaincy of its existence and purpose.
And with hope being respective to each individual, the various contexts of it become interesting. Having asked random strangers and loved ones in my life what it meant to them, most placed it along faith. But the one that stood out for me was one individual; she tapped into the issue of loneliness and belonging. She believed that we live in hope for many reasons, but somewhere in our lives, we hope, most ardently so, due to the fact that we want to belong. Believing that it is in fact the lack of belonging that conjures loneliness, we feel lonely, because we don’t belong. And we encourage ourselves to belong, because we are under the overwhelmingly deceptive impression that it will end our loneliness. So that’s where hope makes an appearance. The part where we realise we’re lonely and start hoping to belong
And the hope from that desire alone, of belonging, manifests into a whole lot of hoping for other things alike…relationships, success, great health, wealth and a fulfilment of sorts in terms of what one constitutes as happiness. Hope slowly becomes a friend, that one thing you can do and no one will judge for it. Especially when, what we hope for would be seen as nothing more than a pipe dream in another’s eyes. Some cling on to hope to ensure they don’t make mistakes, and furthermore, to allow them to reach for that dream that seemed much higher than they could attain. Some hope because they feel they have nothing to lose. Hope goes deeper than ”I hope I get that car” Or “ I hope my salary goes up in the next six months.” It’s a way of life. Hope is like sleeping with the lights on to that little five year old, afraid of the boogie man. Hope is a mother’s endless prayer for her daughter the cancer patient. Hope is the fifty year old man who lost his wife, being able to exist in a world where she doesn’t anymore. Hope is holding on to something so tight, you’ve almost forgotten what it feels like to let go again. Its definitely something you can get back if you lose, keeping it is the challenge. Whether we’d like to admit it or not, hope encompasses the very essence of our lives. And no matter how hard we try, we can’t, under any circumstances, deny ourselves the time or opportunity to hope. Without hope we are empty, we have voluntarily fallen into a dark abyss, fighting to get out, we may even attempt to lose ourselves in there trying. But then what do we do? We hope. It’s what we know, it’s what we’ve always known. More so even the mysterious unknown is filled with hope. We hope that whatever the unknown is, when transitioned to the known, is everything we hoped it would be.