2019 / October

Hanging on to hope, when there is no hope to speak of.

Praying for Time by George Michael

Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

Praying for Time by George Michael is a timeless piece of musical social commentary. Although released almost 30 years ago, in 1990, the society it describes is instantly recognisable here in 2019.

These are the days of the beggars and the choosers … This is the year of the hungry man; whose place is in the past … The rich declare themselves poor, and most of us are not sure.

It’s a situation which can cause apathy, ignorance and complacency, each of which are expressed in the song. In a situation like this, and like ours, it becomes easy for us to agree with the lyrics; it’s hard to love, there’s so much to hate.

Yet this is not a song of despair, but a song of hope. A song which declares; Hanging on to hope. When there is no hope to speak of.

So where can we draw hope from in times of despair. Hope is not something you can grasp, store and pull it out when you need it. It is not a commodity we can put in the bank. Hope is a choice. A choice to believe and work towards something better right now. A choice of realistic optimism, choosing to focus on a new future whilst recognising the reality of the current context. On the simplest level, hope is something we can choose despite the circumstances.

Choosing hope, however, is not soft or delusional. It is a battle in which we recognise our present reality and push beyond. To do this takes resilience and commitment. It also takes the support of others to sustain us. Hope is a communal creation. Hope requires not just a personal change of perspective, but a commitment to working towards changing the communal experience we exist in too. Hope experienced only by the individual is more likely to be a wishful flight of fantasy or self-interest than it is a genuine experience of life changing hope.

And once we experience hope, we need to guard it. Not store it up for future use, but guard it’s present functioning through a commitment to living in that hope. When we look around us, it may appear there is no hope to speak of, yet the reality is we need to make a choice to live in hope and allow hope to live in us. And to do this, we need others to make it an achievable reality.

Need some more hope in your life? Why not consider booking an appointment with the author, Dr Dave Wood.

Taken from the album:


Exploring and co-creating #wellbeing4all and community theology with individuals, businesses and communities. For the many, not the few.