â€œI donâ€™t need hope,â€ my co-worker said. â€œItâ€™s for weak people.â€
Shocked, I just stood there and looked at him, waiting for him to elaborate. After all, everyone needs hope, right?
Standing over a cheese slicer in the deli, he said he relies on his ability to make things happen. I had to bite my tongue at the absurdity of the idea.
If he was the President of our country or CEO of a major corporation, I might have considered his notion plausible.
But his superman philosophy was laughable considering his present circumstances, which I wonâ€™t elaborate on, except to say heâ€™s not leaping over tall buildings with a single bound much less saving citizens of Metropolis.
Digging deeper into this idea of hope is the fundamental notion that we all have it whether we want to admit it or not.
Oscar Wilde said, â€œwe are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.â€
Whether itâ€™s the stars or the cesspool, we all fix our gaze on something or someone else. Employers incentivize their employeesâ€˜ sales goals for a reason; so their employees strive to make bonus.
If Iâ€™d rephrased my question and asked my co-worker if he hoped heâ€™d wake up tomorrow, Iâ€™m sure heâ€™d begrudgingly agree.
Because, really, when we lose hope, we lose the will to live.
Knowing him, I think he meant placing hope in something bigger than himself is for weak people, something akin to Godâ€™s welfare program for those unwilling to help themselves.
The rationale being: if you depend too much on God, you might get too comfortable waiting for him to make it happen.
I get a sense of what heâ€™s driving at, but sorry, to me, self-actualization just doesnâ€™t work as a philosophy.
Sure, we all have the power to make certain things happen.
I can resolve to do something within my power like eat breakfast, take a shower, and so on, but when I start staking claims to outcomes beyond my control, thatâ€™s when the results become fuzzier.
Take my co-worker.
Did he actualize himself into his present job â€œcutting the cheese?â€
A pretty smelly idea, donâ€™t you think?