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By Carl S ~

Maybe you have heard the saying about hope being such a beautiful thing, like desire with wings that flies. Allow me to give you my personal observations on hope; as an example, the mousetraps in my garage. Though they have claimed many lives, I keep reloading them with temptation, and the mice never learn. Sometimes, two mice are dead, which means that one is already dead as a warning to stay away. And there is the knowledge that the traps smell of previous deaths.

"It's a trap!"
"It's a trap!" (Photo credit: Stéfan)
It isn't only mice that are not learning, but other creatures that keep getting trapped or killed because of their hope. Human beings seem to “never learn,” as the song states, about the trap-bait of wars. They never seem to be able to resist the glory-of-winning hope, even when glory implies death. So, no, hope isn't necessarily a good thing after all, when it blatantly and blindly chooses to ignore reality.

Isn‘t it, after all, hope that impels so many throughout the centuries into churches, temples, shrines, and mosques? Isn’t this, more than anything else, the motivation? The bait is the access to the tree of inside knowledge, the fruit of eternal life. More than anything else, it is the irresistible bait, the hope- temptation of life blissfully unending - as it always has been. Especially, it is the bait of food of special knowledge, forbidden to outsiders. In every faith, martyrs die for this bait.

Faith is the trap. But the bait is hope.

Perhaps the bait of hope is a bait in small doses, luring the potential victim in. Perhaps the first dose is a high, and free, followed by foretastes of paradise, hopes of immortality, but demanding more and higher doses. And the dispensers of the promised bliss are the pushers of hope, of inside access. This is a hope that the mousetrap won't snap for these particular, chosen “mice;” that by faith dosages and hope, the reward will come, that fate will be avoided or overcome. But, as an old world adage goes, ”Hope is the last to die.”

There is the human hope that by merely refusing to believe something, it will not come true. There is the hope that special incantations can make exceptions to reality. There is hope that death isn't final. My experience with the mouse traps show me the results of not learning.

That mouse, which can't resist the bait, might lie to itself that it will not end up like the others because its hope is more powerful than its reason, yet it provides a carcass for my crows to feed on. Yes, hope can give wings to dreams, but it can destroy, too.