The proverbial wisdom in this regard, for which Brainy Quote® gives original credit to ancient Roman author and statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) is, of course, ‘while there’s life, there’s hope’.
And I guess that this, however trite, is true. But I’m also increasingly aware that, as I slide ever-further and faster down the descent side of life’s slippery slope, the less scope I have for hope.
For true hope, that is, as I’ve long forsaken any notion of fooling myself with false, fantastic and futile hopes arising from dread of death and greed for more life, like resurrection and eternal existence as an ‘immortal’ soul, or a series of future lives or ‘reincarnations’.
So in what remains of this, my sole but not soul incarnation, it’s vital that, as long as I’m not yet at the end of my rope, and can still physically and mentally cope, I resist any temptation to mope.
To waste my time waiting for inspiration to keep writing, for example, instead of just getting on with it. Or to consider my life to be on hold while I wait for my much younger wife to find where in the world the next stage of her hard-earned and well-deserved academic career will take us.
Or, for that matter, to hold my breath while a certain airline that one of my brothers-in-law works as a pilot for decides whether I’m entitled to the ten-per-cent fare for family members so I can afford to accept my mother-in-law’s kind invitation to go visit her in Ipoh, Malaysia.
No point holding my breath on that account, however, as such a deeply-discounted ticket is only good for standby, and thus the answer to any hope of a spare seat on a flight could well prove to be ‘nope’.
And in any event, my hopes of entertaining my beloved mother-in-law by indulging her in countless games of Scrabble, the board game to which she’s addicted, plus the ceaseless babble of superficial chit-chat that I associate with my few acquaintances in Ipoh, rather than the meaningful conversations I could have with friends and fellow activists and writers there or in KL, not to mention the endless gobbling of the Perak cuisine, could well drive me to despondency if not outright despair.
Though, I grant you, no more so than what I’d very likely be doing back here in Sydney instead if I was to be such a dope as not to create my own hope.
Hope for years more intercourse, both conversational and otherwise, with my wife, for example, and the company and conversation of our darling daughter, my son and his family in London, and my Sydney friends and intellectual cronies, Michael, Patrick, Geoff, Cleo and Co.
And then there’s the hope I’m holding-out for the most mutually-fulfilling possible relationship with a most promising new potential soulmate, my wife’s Spanish friend and former colleague with whom I’m meeting every week to help her in her bid to achieve perfection with her already most impressive English.
And besides all these sources of hope, of course, there’s dope. Dope in my case as in thus-far legal recreational drugs like nicotine and caffeine, and the mercifully mood-enhancing or more accurately melancholia-minimising pharmaceutical, Efexor-XR (venlafaxine hydrochloride).
As stupid as many might consider me to be hooked on such a dangerous and potentially deadly a drug as nicotine, however, I’m not so dopey as to dabble in other so-called ‘soft’ substances like grass, or ‘hard’ stuff like ice or heroin, let alone what I consider the hardest and most hellishly addictive of them all, religion.
Because to me it is not only, as Karl Marx famously observed, the opiate of the masses, but, to return to the sentiments I expressed in paragraph three of this piece, the false-hopiate of the whole human race.
As I’ve mentioned virtually ad nauseam for years the teachings of all the self-appointed ‘religious’ prophets doesn’t appears to have slackened personkind’s pernicious pursuit of profits at the expense of all else. And thousands of years of praying doesn’t appear to have done much to prevent the insatiably power-seeking and insanely money-mad from preying on the goodwill and gullibility of the rest of us.
A thought that brings me to my final hope for here and now, which is that Australia’s current con as in conservative, coal as in coalition, help-the-rich and to-hell-with-the-rest and thus falsely-Christian federal government deservedly fails in its frantic efforts to spin, lie and dissemble itself back into office come the election this May 18.