Havel on Hope

Vaclav Havel

This is a found item that stands on its own. To distinguish hope from optimism is to distinguishing Christian realism from all banal naivetes, religious or otherwise. There is no reason whatsoever to be optimistic; there is every reason– in the world and beyond– to be hopeful. (From “Pro Ecclesia,” reprinted in “The Christian Century”):

The late Václav Havel… differentiated between hope and optimism. Hope, he said, “is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, and orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons. . . . It is an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. . . . [Hope] is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”

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