Reflections on Hopeful cynicalism and Realistic expectations

“Cause if one day you wake up and find that you’re missing me,
and your heart tries to wonder where on this earth I could be,
thinking maybe you’ll come back here to the place that we’d meet,
and you see me waiting for you on the corner of the street,
so i’m not moving
i’m not moving”
(The Script: “The man who can’t be moved“)

I have to say that it’s a catchy song and that it somehow expresses the notion of a relentless belief in hope and things would come together. A lot of songs out there hold on to this principle; that some sort of miracle might happen and things will come together kind of vibe to it.

Mariah Carey’s song “Always be my Baby” talks about two people parting ways and the narrator who depicts the emotions of the story says that though separation is inevitable, they will always be part of each other, regardless. The narrator believes this without a doubt, or so it seems to him or her.

But isn’t it ironic that in reality, such stories in real life do not occur as much. I have no statistics to prove this but I do believe that I don’t have to convince anyone of this matter. By simply exaggerating that in reality, only 1% (or maybe slightly higher than that), of what we do find in songs sung on mainstream radio which depicts a “forever” kind of love or waiting, in that they happen in terms of people do actually have stuff like that happening to them. The other truth is the other way round.

Some who go through heart break will eventually move on and those who felt that they will never forget the one who parted will eventually find someone else. Or that the hope of letting go of ones partner and hope they will return never turns out that way in reality. So it does seem to say that there is something faulty in the way songs and lyrics are expressed in a sense.

While, in the space of emotions and longings sprung to life by being sung to music or simply by writing them, projects a reality of hope, reality in the physical realm on the other hand counters it by saying it does not exist. To which we ask the question, “Why do we then love or long to believe what is other than what we encounter in the reality projected by the physical state we live in?”

It does seem like some sort of paradox.

Although I do not have any definitive answer to this, here’s some bits of reflection on how I try to understand this paradox.

Hope is label true in the unseen realms of longing, but on dusty roads of factual reality or lived experience, it seems, hope tussles to lose with it and inside sometimes we make it die if this tussle continues. Sometimes to the point that we can become cynical of anything called hope.

But if we seek to be enlightened to another point of view, on hope that is labeled true in the unseen realms of longing, it should always be held because we know deep down there is such a thing as hope even when reality says “no way.” Because sometimes reality cannot explain why there is hope.

My philosophy, and I’m cynical to anything understood as “happily ever after,” but even if we don’t believe in it, the fact is, we are reacting to a “happily ever after” that is unrealistic. One that avoids the notion of things going awry or tragic. We should seek one that is more grounded, where our hopes and longings understand that there is a realm that reacts against it. But it should not water down or choke away our longings and hopes. It should in a way divert a more realistic passage way of thinking about hope and longing.

So, I think, there is nothing wrong if we do sing and believe that there is such a thing as a relentless pursuit of hope, or as songs always sing out, something called “perfect love,” or simply “a beautiful thing called love.” The only thing we have to change is that, we do have to balance it out with realistic expectations.

In life, I do believe that we don’t really have to side on the extremes of being overtly pessimistic about anything hopeful or on the side that thinks that anything can be triumphed upon. There is a thin line that walks between them, and in someways hold them together.

Life is a paradox; in gazing a beautiful rose and being careful as to not hurt one’s self in the process of trying to get hold of it.

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