Thursday, 24 November 2011

Hope Springs Eternal


Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
An Essay of Man Epistle I


The first line of this verse is very well known. It was written by English poet, Alexander Pope, way back in 1733.




I love this verse. In that one line it has the power to strengthen you. It inspires you to believe that even though life may be hard and difficult sometimes and you may be finding it hard to cope, there is something there in the human spirit which will always believe that things will get better tomorrow. That no matter how bad the situation gets, things have the potential to get brighter.

Occasionally, we all get disappointed with ourselves. I do so many times. Probably more than most. We berate ourselves because we aren't the mum, the friend, the person that we would like and aspire and have the potential to be. Because of things like sickness, nerves, money troubles and a host of other things that seem to jump out at us just when we think we can actually do this, we never quite reach our goals and aspirations.

We need to keep in mind that just like a spring of water, that bubbles up from deep within the earth, our life is always changing. We can never tell what will happen tomorrow, or even the next minute. We may feel that there is no hope any more. But even when things are at their bleakest and you are taking life a minute at a time, I know that there is always hope. If you can just hang on that little bit longer, things have a habit of sorting themselves out and the figurative sun does come out again.

Alexander Pope had a fairly sad life. From the age of 12 he suffered from a form of tuberculosis, which stunted his growth and deformed his bones. He also suffered from respiratory difficulties, abdominal pain and high fevers. He only grew to a height of 4ft 6in. He never married and because he was a Catholic, he and his family were shunned by London society at that time.

His Ode on Solitude has the line.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me dye;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lye.


But I feel that he truly believed that hope springs eternal. For he also wrote the following positive lines.

To err is human; to forgive, divine.

No one should be ashamed to admit they are wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that they are wiser today than they were yesterday.

On life's vast ocean diversely we sail. Reasons the card, but passion the gale.

The most positive men are the most credulous.


I believe that when we see an example like his, and when we see others who have suffered so much, and we see them lift themselves up and remain positive, so much so that they can even inspire others, then there is really hope for all of us.





Melanie



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