285 – The Evolution of Hope in Nature …

Hope: 1 – A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. 2 – An optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large.[i]

John Maxwell’s “Hope dares to give when no one is sharing.”

Hope is the force that guides us in search of the light at the end of the tunnel.

To hope is a characteristic of the human animal. But what about the non-human animals … do they hope! Did our simian ancestors hope to some degree akin to the way we do? They seem to care for each other, but do they hope for their welfare, for a better position in the clan, for survival? Even if it is mostly instinctual, I believe they do, perhaps not at the same level we do, but at levels that affect their behavior and development in analogous ways as hope affects us when, for instance, we are displaced by hate, or conflict, or greed and are forced to search … to hope? … for a safer place.

We see the force of hope every day in the displacement of millions of people escaping from the devastation of their environments, from genocide, from cruelty, from hate, from greed; we see the force of hope in people who have lost everything yet journey into the unknown with the hope of finding a better place.

When did hope enter the struggle for survival … was it there all along in Life’s struggle to live? When did hope grow to be such a powerful force? At what stage in Evolution did Life acquire its capacity to hope to the degree we do?

Why is it that the feeling of hope, like love, is so difficult to apprehend when its presence can be such a force in our lives? When did hope become a guiding ‘light’? Will hope, at the level it has ascended into our lives, vanish from Nature if we do?

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all –


And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –

And sore must be the storm –

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm –


I’ve heard it in the chillest land –

And on the strangest Sea –

Yet – never – in Extremity,

It asked a crumb – of me. Emily Dickinson

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[i] Oxford Languages. Wikipedia

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