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Hope is the enemy.

gringo

Registered User
Feb 1, 2012
1,189
UK.
Several days ago, Adcat gave a link to an exceptionally well-written article by Dasha Kiper. The article related her experience of caring for a person with dementia.
What has haunted me ever since reading it was her statement ‘Hope is the enemy. Such is the deviousness of dementia: it’s ability to keep hope alive while it’s symptoms signify only futility.’
Nietzsche said that ‘Hope is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man’, but Pope says ‘Hope springs eternal from the human breast’.
I wish I’ld never read the article, I hate to think of hope as the enemy, but her argument was too persuasive. Life without hope? What a prospect!
 

Sue J

Registered User
Dec 9, 2009
8,035
Never been a fan of Nietzsche Gringo. I have hope, its quite separate from the dementia symptoms I experience even though sometimes can be hard to see. Hope is what rises above the torments, don't be persuaded:)
 

fizzie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
2,730
I still think that most of us live with hope in our hearts even if we know that really we are kidding ourselves :) Maybe it is because love and hope go together x Don't let the article get you down. I thought it was a decent article but there were bits I didn't like so i just threw them out lol x
 

esmeralda

Registered User
Nov 27, 2014
3,074
Devon
Too tired to look it up now, but T S Eliot said we should live without hope because we might be hoping for the wrong thing. At least I think he did. I've never thought it was a negative statement, more about staying in the moment and not making assumptions about the future but letting it unfold. Don't know if that helps. Probably from the Four Quartets.
 

esmeralda

Registered User
Nov 27, 2014
3,074
Devon
“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”
T. S. Eliot
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,051
Yorkshire
We can all hope for a long healthy, wealthy life with no troubles or sorrows - doesn't mean we expect that it will be that way. If we all lived without hope, there'd be no children - why have children to live a futile life.
I know life with dementia holds many challenges for each person with it and their carers - doesn't mean we don't hope each day for some pleasure and the sharing of human warmth.
If we were without hope, we wouldn't be posting on TP.
We may not expect a cure in the near future but we hope for one one day, or at least some means to alleviate symptoms.
So I feel Esmerelda has a point - hope 'for the wrong thing' actually leads to despair, I think - hope with a sense of what is appropriate in given circumstances is life affirming.
Sue J's
Hope is what rises above the torments
is wonderful
and reminds me of the Pandora myth - when all the evils were released from the box, finally Hope was discovered and released too.
Let hope be
Let's be still and dance
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,427
66
Toronto, Canada
I also remember that phrase and it resonated for me. But in context, it is about family members not getting hopeful when their loved one has a particularly good day. In that sense, I understand the phrase and agree with it.

But I don't think of it in terms of all my life. I am generally an optimistic person.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,051
Yorkshire
But in context, it is about family members not getting hopeful when their loved one has a particularly good day
Thanks for the clarification Canadian Joanne - I couldn't find the article to check.
In context it makes sense - and could be said to be about hoping for the wrong thing.
Gringo - I hope this helps settle your mind.
 

Trisha4

Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
2,440
Yorkshire
Perhaps it is about hoping for the possible. To hope that a cure tomorrow will bring all our loved ones back to pre-dementia conditions is pointless and will only lead to despair. But to hope for things appropriate to our own situations must be right. It might be just a smile or an enjoyable event or something that goes according to plan. Life without hope would be very hard.


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garnuft

Registered User
Sep 7, 2012
6,585
Sometimes there are occasions in life when hope is a wasted emotion.

Sometimes even 'best outcome' scenarios are hopeless.
To continue to have 'hope' on such occasions is to refuse to face reality.

These are the times that hope shifts and the best we can 'hope' for is an end to the agony.

Hope....it's such an interesting word and an enigmatic and subjective emotion.

Nevertheless , I am glad you shared your emotions, Mike.

It's good to talk.

Take care x


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gringo

Registered User
Feb 1, 2012
1,189
UK.
Never been a fan of Nietzsche Gringo. I have hope, its quite separate from the dementia symptoms I experience even though sometimes can be hard to see. Hope is what rises above the torments, don't be persuaded:)
Thanks Sue. I particularly like hope rising above the torments!



“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope…
T. S. Eliot
Having read this several times ,I’m still not sure what he is saying, but it is part of a large work, and many people have interpreted it in many different ways. But ‘wait without hope….’!!!

Sometimes there are occasions in life when hope is a wasted emotion.

Sometimes even 'best outcome' scenarios are hopeless.
To continue to have 'hope' on such occasions is to refuse to face reality.

Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
Oh Gwen! Of course you are right if we hope for too much. I think it all depends on what we hope for. I must say I can't contemplate a life without hope of any kind.

Miss Rossetti tells of a future ’stripp’d bare of hope’.

Talk what you please of future spring
And sun-warm'd sweet to-morrow:
Stripp'd bare of hope and everything,
No more to laugh, no more to sing,
I sit alone with sorrow.

A Daughter Of Eve
Christina Georgina Rossetti

Clearly, we don’t want to go there; we must be allowed some hope. But, for us, hope has to be qualified.
Perhaps it is about hoping for the possible. To hope that a cure tomorrow will bring all our loved ones back to pre-dementia conditions is pointless and will only lead to despair. But to hope for things appropriate to our own situations must be right. It might be just a smile or an enjoyable event or something that goes according to plan. Life without hope would be very hard.
Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
Yes I agree with this. Whilst we cannot, in our time, hope for a cure, we can hope for small things, a good visit, a smile of recognition, perhaps it is not even too much to hope that our loved one remains sure of our love.
Rather than 'the enemy', for me, hope for small things is very much an indispensable ally.