We have to talk about hope

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We have to talk about hope

Exploring Our Dependence on Hope with Margaret Wheatley. A combination of teaching, conversation, and personal reflection.

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We have to talk about hope image

An Invitation To Explore Our Dependence On Hope

Offered at two different times:

Friday December 2nd:  10:00-1:00 Eastern; 16:00-19:00 CET


Sunday December 4th:  8:00-11:00. Eastern; 14:00-17:00 CET

Do you rely on hope to motivate you?

Are you afraid without hope or optimism that you’ll sink into despair and hopelessness?

How exhausted and overwhelmed are you?

When you feel grief, sadness, powerlessness, do you reach for hope to motivate you into action?

We reach for hope as the antidote to despair,

but actually hope is the cause of despair.

The problem with hope is that it’s bipolar. Every time we rely on hope, we always bring in fear. Buddhist wisdom teaches that hope and fear are two sides of the same dynamic. You already know this from your own experience. Think of when you put great hope and effort in a project, cause, or person. You worked very hard for its success, but then it failed from causes beyond your control. How did you feel then?

Too many of us good people dedicated to creating change have become addicted to hope. We feel despair for the destruction of planet, peoples, species, and the future. Yet we still need to make a difference, so we grasp for hope to motivate and energize us.

“Hope is a dangerous barrier to acting courageously in dark times.
In hope, the soul overleaps reality, as in fear it shrinks back from it.”

- Hannah Arendt, political philosopher, Holocaust survivor

It’s time to be aware of this cycle and liberate ourselves from the drug of Hopium. (see definition below)* Hopium never gives us the energy and motivation we need to contribute and persevere. As we free ourselves from the cycle of hope and fear, we don’t become useless, hopeless people. Instead, we become people who can see clearly how to contribute in meaningful ways. We discover work that makes a different difference. We contribute meaningfully within our sphere of influence to a person, a community, a local cause.

Liberating Ourselves from Hope: An Intervention

Those who deeply care about a friend or family member who’s addicted will sometimes create an intervention for the person to see their addiction and discover a better way. It’s my heartfelt aspiration that we liberate ourselves from Hopium so that we can discover meaningful work to serve the human spirit and the spirit of life.

Hope blinds us to our path of contribution. With insight and compassion, we discover abundant ways to contribute to this time of great suffering for peoples and planet.

We have to talk about hope image

An Intervention in Three Steps

  • Step One: Facing Reality. Withdrawing from the drugged haze of hopium, we can see reality clearly. We comprehend the scientific and social dynamics already in motion for planet, people, and societies that cannot be changed by human will or unified global efforts.
  • Step Two: Discovering Meaningful Work. We cannot change the world at the level of scale that is needed. This is the tragic reality of our time. We still want to make a difference and we can. We learn to look within our circle of influence, in our community, team, family and ask new questions. We keep asking these questions with genuine curiosity. We are available to offer our skills and heart wherever we’re needed.

What is needed here? Am I the one to contribute to this need?

  • Step Three: We take our place in the family of beings. The antidote to despair is not hope, it is love--love for the beauty and harmony of life even as we despair for the destruction caused by us humans. We give up control or saving the Earth and join the family of all beings as willing, humble participants. Opened by awe and gratitude, we feel held, supported, and loved in return. We belong here.

To Register: Click on the 'Select a Date' button at the top of the screen

Exploring Our Dependence on Hope

Led by Margaret Wheatley Live on Zoom 

 A combination of teaching, conversation, and personal reflection.

Offered at two different times:

 Friday December 2nd:  10:00 am-1:00 pm Eastern; 16:00-19:00 CET

Sunday December 4th:  8:00 am-11:00 pm. Eastern; 14:00-17:00 CET

Tuition: $150-$300

(We offer a reduced price to a small number of people.  If you need financial support, please complete [this form] and we’ll contact you.)