Hope For The Future


Janki Chopra, Vedanta Institute Delhi.

All philosophy and wisdom studies seem to tell us we should not entertain hopes for the future. While what they say sounds convincing, we are not sure whether it will work. While we do see some justification in not counting one’s chickens before they are hatched, how is it possible to not have hopes for the future? And is it not also true that one continues effort only as long as there is hope. Which person will continue with anything if there is no hope? And if we don’t have a hope for the future how do we have a goal? Or should we not have goals?

Life without goals is directionless. If we do not know where we are going how do we determine what we should be doing? Can one just sit in a car and drive? One needs a destination. The destination tells us what turns we need to make, what avenues we need to traverse.

Then what does it mean to not have hopes for the future? It means to not think of the goal once the action has started. What the usual tendency is, is that once we have started the action, we keep mentally indulging in the result. We remember it and revel in it. This disturbs our concentration and hence our work suffers. To not have hopes means to forget about it and focus entirely on the current action. Plunge into the work at hand. A student sitting to study, dreams of the wonderful university life he is going to have, or the millions he is going to make at work. At the job interview, we are anxious to obtain the job. If one did not want the job, one would not go to the interview. But at the interview if the mind is thinking of the job it is dissipating its energy and one is not putting one’s best foot forward.

Work is of the present, results are of the future. To think about results is as absurd as when we see children gardening. With great dedication the children do the digging and the planting and the watering. Having then finished, half an hour later, they go to see if there has been any result to their work! We too behave like that. There will always be a time lapse between the work executed and the result. Take up some more work. Staring at the ground will not make the seeds grow any faster. It merely keeps one from doing anything constructive.


One Response to Hope For The Future

  1. Yanna says:

    I rekcon you are quite dead on with that.

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