hope and love for example.
have you ever really thought about hope? we often talk about hope as this overwhelmingly positive thing. but the truth is that whenever there’s hope, it’s paired with absence. hope means that whatever that hope is aimed at hasn’t yet arrived. hasn’t yet been realized. and so you hope. it’s an emotion that i rely on and that i find immense security in, but it’s ultimately not very secure. there’s no guarantee that hope will ever be realized. and yet we embrace hope so energetically. even though it lives between reality and extinction.
love is one of our most sought after attributes. to be loved feels so freeing. it ideally means someone values us for who we are. but love is bondage. it leads us to action. it requires movement. i sometimes hear people talk about hate (the opposite of love) as slavery. it drives you to negative action. but love is just as enslaving. we allow this slavery because the ends are good and the means appear genuine to us. in fact, maybe it’s the difficulty of love that makes it so compelling. it’s like when something is too sweet, it’s syrupy & overwhelming. but something tastes good when it’s a mix of sweet and sour, or when the “goodness” is tempered. and so sacrifice and duty and loyalty all temper love and forces us to count the cost and, ultimately, appreciate the objects of our love (and that love us back) all the more. but love is not the easy, happy solution that it’s sometimes portrayed as. it’s freedom and servitude, all in one.
so these are just a couple thoughts that struck me, randomly. the ideas on hope are something i’ve been ruminating on for awhile. the thoughts on love were just provoked this afternoon. so what do you think…how do the two sides of these concepts play against each other (or conspire together)? and are there other concepts that share similar paradoxes?