The Hope Horse
So OK, Jeff, what the heck is a hope horse?
Well, I really don’t know either, but it just kinda slipped off the tongue a couple weeks ago and I liked it. So I decided to explain how the hope horse came about and what it means for me not only in the past year, but for my/our future.
First off all it is a combination of an experience I read in a book recently (see recent blog post about Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome) regarding finding a spirit animal (the author’s was a ‘rising peacock’) and a guilty pleasure of mine the PBS stalwart The McLaughlin Group making their usual show ending political predictions.
The episode of The MG was following the Paris attacks and they were all in agreement that that attacks was going to give a significant advantage to the Republicans in the 2016 elections because as Eleanor noted “fear triumphs over hope”. Immediately this saddened and angered me not because of the truth, but I realized this was and still is their playbook. Lie and invoke fear for political gain. How freakin’ sad.
But then I put this in my perspective with my diagnosis. I too was riding the ‘fear horse’ at first. How I was expecting to die within a few short months. How each annual event was going to be last (My last Christmas, my last New Years, etc.). It was a mostly long, dark, lonely winter trying to grieve and comes to grips with the premature end of my life.
At some point though I traded in the ‘fear horse’ though for the ‘hope horse’. Suddenly I wanted more. One vacation wasn’t enough. Knocking things off my list became an obsession. Planning trips and doing things I had never done before became a priority. Riding the ‘hope horse’ was bright, fast, inspiring, and got me to within a year of living since I was diagnosed. I got another birthday. I get another Christmas, I get to see 2016, and my goals of being in all 50 states in nearly a reality.
We all need to do the same. Even if sometimes there is false hope out there it is better always to try and rely on hope and not let fear hold us back. Fear controls us, keeps us in line, and holds us back from seeing the country, making a new friend, or beating a disease in my case.
Trust in hope. Get on the hope horse! Ride into that sunset no matter how near or far that horizon may seem to be. We all have a clock to beat. Don’t let it beat you. Choose hope!
On edit, the transcript from TMG:
MCLAUGHLIN: Mandatory prediction: concern that Paris-style terrorist attacks will take place here in the U.S., and that will give the Republicans a major boost in next year’s presidential election.
BUCHANAN: Probably already has.
CLIFT: Fear triumphs over hope.
PAGE: I’d say yes.
MCLAUGHLIN: I’ll say yes.