Wednesday, June 24, 2015

#175 / Hope Is Not A Strategy

The picture above originally illustrated an article about the stock market in Thailand. At the time the article was written, at least according to the analyst who wrote the article, "the general attitude in Thailand [was] to hope that the problems will go away." 

The problems mentioned were political problems. A group called the "Red Shirts" was supporting a deposed prime minister, and in April and May of the previous year crowds of protesters had "occupied central Bangkok for several weeks, before the army forcibly broke up the protests. There were around 90 deaths."

The photo was from some rebuilding work going on at the Central World Mall in Bangkok, which had been partly burned down by protestors during the violence. "It’s part of a string of messages along the security fence," said the financial analyst, but he adds, "I can't say I found it reassuring. Hope is not a strategy."

Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, also says that "hope is not a strategy." He wrote an article to that effect in the most recent edition of the Sierra Club magazine. The purpose of Brune's article was to provide some convincing evidence that it is possible to achieve a "radical transformation of the world's energy markets," helping to counteract global warming. 

(The purpose of the article on Thailand was to convince you not to invest your money there).

My purpose, in this posting on "hope," is to suggest that while hope is not a "strategy," it is an essential ingredient in any human effort to change the world. 

I often note (and it's absolutely true) that the human world we most immediately inhabit is a world that we create, and that there is no inevitability, whatsoever, that conditions or controls what is possible in that human world. Whatever we think, we can do. 

Of course, we need to do more than "think," if we want to make changes. "Thinking about it" is not a strategy, either. To change the world we need to act, but we are not going to act if we don't have some sense that by acting we can make things better. 

Without hope, in other words, we're goners!

That's what I believe!

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