Of all of the words used to describe a state of human existence, “hopeless” is one of the most profound. Without hope. Lacking hope.
Having no expectation of good or success.
In the first part of Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy, Dante passes through the gate of Hell which bears an inscription that reads, in part, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”
Reading the recent reports where a young couple from Mississippi were arrested for attempting to elope to Syria to join ISIS for their honeymoon spurred thoughts of that ever-present darkness.
Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.
Who in America 10 short years ago would imagine young people here would romanticize a honeymoon in Syria with a barbaric group that beheads people?
The noble nature of Man is best reflected in our willingness to sacrifice for a cause greater than ourselves. The soul yearns to be part of something noble. Profound. God comes to mind.
Yet a culture that glorifies removing the moral guardrails as we do in America today is destined to produce people full of the kind of emptiness that no false hope can fill. A place where people would romanticize walking into a movie theater and killing everyone in sight. Or a school. Or a village to behead people.
Then you read accounts of the three U.S. servicemen who instinctively put their own safety aside, who ran toward danger and subdued the lost soul who walked onto a Paris train armed to the teeth intent upon slaughter.
Saving the lives of those innocent people is every good thing that jihad can’t muster. It’s what good looks like.
It’s the sort of thing that the John Wayne-style American culture was Created to produce: selfless acts of courage.
The kind of place where joy comes from. Full of aspirations and desires; wishes and expectations; ambitions and goals. Making your own plans for your life while remembering life is what happens while you’re making those plans. Then fulfilling them.
Darkness is only the absence of Light.
As we move into the new Presidential election cycle, I pray people understand that “hope” is merely a campaign slogan to a politician. It has no meaning. Putting your Faith in men is a false hope. No politician can provide happiness for us. Not one of them.
Hope that they do no harm.
The choice we make will decide whether America can survive in real hope. And freedom.