I guess that explains it

February 10th, 2011 · 4 Comments

Earlier today I thought to myself: In retrospect, perhaps opening a box clearly marked “property of Pandora” because I was looking for hope was not the best strategy.

The reason I had that thought is not the point of this post. What’s done is done and I’m pretty well at peace with the consequences of having opened an emotional Pandora’s box. Indeed, I feel as if I am a great deal more at peace with my emotions now than I was before I went digging about for hope. I stand by my choices.

However, after thinking that, and considering writing it down somewhere, I went and looked at the Pandora’s box entry on wikipedia. I had no particular reason for doing so other than the fact that I was waiting for some analysis to run and had pretty much exactly enough time to read a wikipedia entry. The thing that struck me was this sentence “Many interpretations of the story overlook the fact that Pandora’s Box contained all things evil that would plague mankind and Hope was inside this box, thus completely missing this second lesson of the Myth.”

I don’t think I’d ever heard that interpretation of the myth. I’m not saying I buy it (as either an interpretation of the Pandora’s box story or as a truth about life). But it did make me pause for a moment and go “Oh!”

Tags: personal

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Miriam Dema // Feb 11, 2011 at 1:19 am

    Hey so, I heard the following statement on of all things oprah this week:

    “Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different.”

    I was reminded of it when I read your blog post.

  • 2 Sarahliz // Feb 11, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Yeah. I saw that quote (or at least a paraphrase thereof) on 3playa earlier this week. It definitely resonated.

    The Emily Dickinson line “hope is the thing with feathers” was floating around in my head a lot this fall (despite the fact that the poem as the whole doesn’t really do much for me). After reading the Pandora’s box wikipedia entry I wondered if perhaps I should be thinking “hope is the thing with teeth.”

  • 3 Laura // Feb 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    M. and I always say, “hope sucks.” Hope prevents you from seeing things as they are. You don’t have acceptance because hope means you’re wanting something else.

  • 4 Sarahliz // Feb 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    That’s a fair point.

    I do actually think hope can be a lovely thing but it does need to be taken with a nice dose of reality. Hoping for a today that’s better than yesterday makes getting out of bed a bit easier. But of course, hope in the absence of effort to actually make things happen doesn’t do anyone much good.

    I think hoping for the best from people generally makes me happier than not doing so would. But, you’re right, that brings with it the problem of hope making it impossible to accept reality. Perhaps something like “hope for the best, plan for the worst” is a reasonable compromise.

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