On Hope and Hopelessness [Squirrel Dialogues 21]

In the episode 21 of Squirrel Dialogues, I talk with the Sadness Gang about hope and hopelessness.

More Squirrel Dialogues. On YouTube.

Show notes below the vid.

Show Notes

Regarding the tyranny of the depressive ego, see Squirrel Dialogues 16.

This episode is inspired by several sources. For anyone who struggles to feel hope for the future of our world, Rebecca Solnit’s Hope in the Dark is a must-read. She wrote it in the dark ages of George W. Bush America, but if anything it has become more relevant over time. The quote that Squirrel mentions is from this book, but it was actually written in 1915 (surely one of the darkest years in human history) by Virginia Woolf.

“The future is dark, which is the best thing the future can be, I think.”


Some useful definitions of hope:

From Dr. Ross Ellenhorn, in this fascinating interview on why people change, and don’t change.

Hope is not quite an emotion. It’s an emotion and it’s a posture…It’s a posture that is sort of a loving orientation toward something you want to achieve, that you don’t know if you can get. So hope is a feeling you have in the midst of uncertainty. There is no hope when things are certain.

From Dr. Brené Brown, via The Gifts of Imperfection:

Hope is a combination of setting goals, having the tenacity and perseverance to pursue them, and believing in our own abilities.

For a longer form description of hope, here’s a 2016 article by Rebecca Solnit.

And Reach Out

And as always, if you’re having a tough time, please reach out to another human being. There’s always the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. For more local options you might try googling “crisis line [STATE]”

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