I've been thinking a lot about hope recently. How hope for the future is the main thing that keeps people going, and how the loss of that hope, however temporary, can feel like the end of the world; like a dead weight dragging you down, down, down.
On a personal level, my greatest future hope is for a stable relationship, and further to that, to have a family (my definition of 'family' has changed somewhat over time). As I get older and another year passes, this hope has become more distant and cloudy. Sometimes it evaporates altogether, and the weight in my heart becomes overwhelming.
Thankfully, I have found a medication that stops me from sinking to the extreme depths where I was marooned for many years without hope.
On a wider level, I have hope in human nature. Couples staying together despite being dealt all manner of shit (Karleen, I'm in awe of you). A little kid being thrilled to discover a 10c piece in the grass. The good humour of friends. Inspiring documentaries. The comforting huddle of my immediate family; my ever-expanding tribe. Wired magazine.
It's easy to feel cynical about humanity and our future prospects - and believe me, I often do. It's much harder to be hopeful. I have consciously taken a decision to try not to worry too much about the larger problems and to focus on myself and my immediate community; the people I come into contact with every day. I follow the philosphy of those great thinkers of our time, Bill and Ted:
"Be excellent to each other".
Right on, dudes.
I am starting to learn that we can nurture a sense of hope within ourselves, and that hope can take many forms.
So here we are in the year 2012. I hope it will be a great one for you.