[P2P-F] Fwd: Potent hope dances with passive hope and spectatorism

Michel Bauwens michel at p2pfoundation.net
Tue Dec 24 04:13:51 CET 2013

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Tom Atlee <cii at igc.org>
Date: Tue, Dec 24, 2013 at 2:27 AM
Subject: Potent hope dances with passive hope and spectatorism
To: Michel Bauwens <michel at p2pfoundation.net>

Tom Atlee's Co-Intelligence Journal . The Co-Intelligence Symbol . What
this message is about: Optimism and pessimism are kind of like spectator sp

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Tom Atlee's Co-Intelligence Journal
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. The Co-Intelligence Symbol .

*What this message is about: Optimism and pessimism are kind of like
spectator sports: things are getting better - or - things are getting
worse. Passive hope is wishing or believing things will turn out ok. Potent
hope, in contrast, is active, intentional, and grounded in the positive
potential we can observe in people and the world. When we have potent hope,
we don't claim to know what will happen, but we do claim good reason to
take action and find rich meaning in our lives. This post concludes with
more than two dozen inspiring quotes about potent hope.*
Potent hope dances with passive hope and

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The "Interbeing" of "better and better" and "worse and worse"

Dear friends,

Given the number of discouraging trends in the world, it is easy to feel
hopeless and pessimistic. So I want to take a few moments to look at these
very human feelings - optimism and pessimism, hope and hopelessness.

I'll start with optimism and pessimism. It feels to me that both these
attitudes pull us into spectatorism - like watching sports teams out on the
field. Will the good forces or the bad ones win? Optimists say "Good will
be the winner and things will turn out well." Pessimists say "You're crazy.
Be real! Things are gonna turn out real bad, as usual!"

Well, first of all, we never really know ahead of time how things will turn
out. And how they turn out has so much to do with what WE do: In a very
real sense, we are always participants no matter what we do or don't
when we are bystanders or inactive we are never JUST spectators, and I
think we'd be wise to cop to that fact. Realizing we're involved, willy
nilly, may make it harder to buy into the righteous comfort of traditional
optimism or pessimism, but it certainly brings us home to reality.

There's another level of complexity in this. Let's check out that old
formula about how the optimist thinks "The glass is half full" and the
pessimist thinks "The glass is half empty". Does that actually capture our
experience of most situations we find ourselves in - one glass with four
ounces of liquid and four ounces of air? It seems to me that most
situations involve a LOT of glasses - and they're in every imaginable state
of fullness and emptiness. Confronted by this, optimists get busy pointing
out all the mostly full glasses while pessimists make a big deal of all the
mostly empty ones. (The real test of course is what the optimists do with
glasses that are really almost empty and what the pessimists do with
glasses that are almost overflowing. Usually they just ignore them!)

It seems that optimism and pessimism have more to do with our mood than
with reality. When I'm in a dark mood, I'm with the pessimists and I want
to pull every optimist down. Cynicism helps a lot. When I'm in a bright
mood, I want to lift every pessimist up: "Look at the bright side!" In both
cases, as a (sort of) normal human being, I'm trying to recruit some
company for my side of reality - or at least feel more righteous about my
half of the truth.

But ultimately, when I'm being a bit more sane, it's really clear to me
that reality is more complex than that: We face an abundance of glasses
with all kinds of levels of fullness and emptiness, some getting fuller and
some getting emptier. So, although both optimists and pessimists are
demonstrably right, the incompleteness of their rightness makes it hard for
me to be a true believer in either view. That is where my own guiding
principle in such matters - noted in previous posts - comes from. It seems
totally obvious to me that things are getting better and better and worse
and worse faster and faster simultaneously. As absurd as it sounds, it
seems kinda true.

So for those reasons - both the spectatorism and the half-truthiness - I'm
not really a fan of either optimism or pessimism - even though I find
myself indulging in them both many times each week.

That brings me to the subject of HOPE.

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