Myths-Stories-and Mental health

Why we love stories? 

Let’s first define what’s the anatomy of a story –  – it has a beginning- a middle  and an end –

How about our life – we know the beginning- the middle is how our life is unfolding -(which one could know if one is able to stand outside the trappings of life) but the “end”- we won’t know – only the “others” would know that once we are gone.

Before I venture into the philosophy of this question I would like to tell few stories- which are really the lives of few persons I found entertaining and want to fictionalize a bit so as to make create a smooth flow.

The plan is to tell a story and go back to the question of our life’s story. 

Story #1

“Living an Oedipal fantasy”

Urvashi worked in my office. I have known her for last 22 years when I started my practice of psychiatry. I met her when I used to go to a church not that I am a Christian or religious at but or just to have some social interaction since I was marooned in this godforsaken Backwaters of Alabama.One could ask how did I endup there. The simple answer is that I was given a choice either to go back to my country of origin which was India or come to this underserved area and put in three years before I could get my green card. I wanted to explore the “underserved Alabama” because the underserved India was pretty familiar and mundane”.

I had just finished my residency in Psychiatry at an inner cityhospital in Brooklyn NY. The turn of the century- year 2000. My flight was supposed to be at 12 noon and I reached well within time but come to find out America’s day light saving had ended and “I was not informed” lol! Bottom line, I missed the flight and it happened to be April 1st. America had made a perfect April fool out of me!

I met Urvashi, few days after I landed in Birmingham,AL. She was a social worker and had just started working there. She was a member of the local Presbyterian church. One of my other colleaguealso went to the same church and invited me for the Sunday service. I first met her in the church. We hit it off well because she was interested in Eastern thought – influenced by Carl Gustav Jung. We often bumped into each other in the cafeteria and at times would exchange ideas. I was learning the southern culture and in the bargain I would share whatever little I knew about eastern philosophy.

She had just earned her graduate degree with a major in social work in-spite of being a single mother of a 5 years old daughter. She lived with her parents. Few months into our association, she met someone got married and moved out of her parental home. Her husband worked in construction and made good money. After three years of the commitment to the “underserved place” I moved to Atlanta,GAand lost touch with Urvashi.

Fast forward, 20yrs and our ways crossed again. We filled each other with some details of our lives in the interim. I had married during this time and we had three children. She had three children as well but was divorced from her husband and was dating someone. We met occasionally during the monthly grand rounds or sometimes over a cup of coffee. As the time went by our relationship evolved from acquaintance to more of a friendship. 

Few days back,  she sought me out,saying she wanted to discuss some pressing issue. That evening we met for a drink. She told me that her son is very angry with her because she is dating his friend. I knew her son was around 18yrs of age and was a senior in high school. I couldn’t help not  ask her about this guy’s age. Lo and behold!he happens to be the same age as her son. Urvashi is around 35. She is in love with this guy- heads over heal. Uravshi’s parents are distraught and so are her friends. Of course, her son is outraged by this situation. Both his friend and he are still living under the same roof. This is just a very brief and very circumscribed view of her “life”. 

If this were to be a “story” it would have an end but “her life” is still unfolding. One could only speculate an end of this affair or not. We are left wanting,because it doesn’t have an end whereas in a story there would be an end. This is the only difference. 

Quoting, Tom Clancy

The difference between fiction and

reality? Fiction must make sense.

Embracing the absurd in life

It’s absurd” means “It’s impossible” but also “It’s contradictory.” If I see a man armed only with a sword attack a group of machine guns, I shall consider his act to be absurd.
There are absurd marriages, challenges, rancors, silences, wars, and even peace treaties.
Absurd is not in man (if such a metaphor could have a meaning) nor in the world, but in their presence together.— Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus.
No one has embraced “ the absurd” better than Franz Kafka – he makes it very apparent through his works- he introduces this in his short story“ metamorphosis”and develops further in the novellas “ the trial” and “ the castle”


Metamorphosis is a story about a traveling salesman who is going through the drudgery of his job because of assumed family responsibilities and to pay off family debt. One fine morning he wakes up and find himself turned into a “giant beetle” – what drives the absurdity home is his “ annoyance with this inconvenience because he is getting late for work”- in other words when his whole existence has changed he still is worried about “ catching a train in time”.
In a very concrete manner one could easily relate to this scenario when one is employed in a boring job so that one can “buy the latest gadget and be with jones and smiths” and is totally oblivious of the way it is “ transforming her life”.
This idea is developed further in his work “ the trial” wherein Mr K finds himself “arrested by three officials, “ as soon as he wakes up. He is clueless about the nature of his crime, and remains so, even after having navigated the “labyrinth of a convoluted legal system”.
Absurd is very succinctly examined by Albert Camus in the “myth of Sisyphus”
“What, then, is that incalculable feeling that deprives the mind of the sleep necessary to life? A world that can be explained even with bad reasons, is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity”.
“ this feeling of absurdity causes extreme “nausea towards life” as taken up by Jean Paul Sartre in his work “ Nausea” – it causes despair and is excruciatingly painful.
The remedies, unfortunately, are not listed by these philosophers, but nonetheless, I would like to quote Camus again”We turn toward God only to obtain the impossible. As for the possible, men suffice.”

Psychiatric treatment

Psychiatric treatment


Can this

With that

Help?

Everyone reaches a point where they think: “we need help,” but if their healing processes are compromised, then they are unable to help themselves. Although our bodies and minds have the capacity to heal, sometimes the healthy part gets buried underneath the wounded self. For example, when a surgeon is treating a wound, he has to secure healthy margins of the wound, to put a suture to close the wound. Similarly, a psychiatrist assists with the mental wound; to secure those parts of the mind which are unaffected by the disease process. He appeals to those parts of your being, which are relatively healthy.  Simply by giving medications, this is not a cure-all solution. Medications are like a surgeon’s knife, can cure, as well as injure. To become a psychiatrist, one has to graduate from a medical school – just like any other doctor and go through specialized training focused on brain and psyche.Though not required, but it’s useful to study psychology and sociology as well. He also has to know how the society functions, because the individual he is treating does not live in a vacuum. Under optimal conditions, he is required to understand his own mind; which is an important tool to understand others. In addition, he needs to know his own biases and develop some clarity to know what the patient’s problems are, and not to confuse his own issues with the patients. On HBO Max, there is a relevant TV show “in treatment,” which describes the hard work of the psychiatrist; to correct these processes and to be able to assist the patients. 

Procrastination

The Latin root of ‘procrastination’ is ‘procrastinare’, which means “to put off or postpone until another day”.

In order to get an unbiased view of “this thief of time”, it is important, that we separate the construct of procrastination,from its presumed consequences.

So why do we procrastinate?

Simple answer “ to prevent mood dysregulation” meaning “keeping our good mood from taking a dip”.

After days of saying to yourself “I’ll do it tomorrow,” it is now the day before your report is due despite your intention to get it done a few weeks ago. However, instead of sitting down to finish it, you decide to get busy catching up answering email with the hope that you will soon feel more in the mood to work on the report. – does that sound familiar? I would like to be brutally honest and share that I have a deadline coming up reviewing some documents but currently, I am enjoying writing this “blog”! If I were to give up this activity and focus on the aversive task of reading the documents, I am going to be an “unhappy camper”. If I “procrastinate , I would be in a time crunch and perhaps end up being in worse mood but “tomorrow “.

Focusing on regulating mood and feeling states in the short term can lead to failure of self-control in other areas of our lives. When we are in a bad mood, we want to feel better, but many ways of feeling better involve indulging our appetites that we usually use self control to resist (e.g., eating sweet foods, shopping for items beyond our financial resources). In terms of procrastination, the argument is that aversive tasks lead to anxiety and worry, and that task avoidance is a strategy to avoid this negative mood.

There is a tremendous gain for “the you of today” but “what about the you of tomorrow“?

Yeah that’s the downside of procrastination- today’s gain is tomorrow’s loss.

Let’s admit we all procrastinate, and some researchers- such as Pannapacker, think moderate procrastination helps creative thinking, probably by problem restructuring, and the activation of new knowledge. Let me quote him”Anecdotally, Leonardo da Vinci is known to have been an inveterate procrastinator and there is evidence that Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and Frank Lloyd Wright engaged in procrastination.”

But, are there some of us who are chronic procrastinators? I guess there are. So, by using the previous logic of payoff why would they have such a need to regulate their mood by procrastinating. Applying common sense I could say “maybe they have chronic dysregulated mood” which in more technical nomenclature is called dysphoria

There has been some research done on that front,and some researchers connected chronic procrastination to generalized anxiety disorder. These folks can not afford to have more anxiety, lest they go into a complete panic mode. They are so precarious,mood wise and can not risk feeling worse, so they have increased need to postpone tasks.

Few words about the treatment part. Therapy of course- to help us see the downside of the mood advantage we get by procrastination and if it’s possible to develop better coping skills. Anti anxiety medications such as SSRI’s and benzodiazepines perhaps- even though none has been approved by FDA for the treatment of procrastination.

Parallel Worlds- Regrets

We can but live once and at a particular given moment can walk but one road. Even though regrets mostly pertain to misgivings about not having taken an alternate course of action, one could have regrets about future. Our thinking, takes us back and forth, and we almost live different life scenarios- like the heroine in the movie “sliding doors”- who found her new love, when she boards the train in scenario #1 and catches her boyfriend in bed with another woman when she reaches home; whereas in scenario #2 she misses the train, gets mugged and then meets her future love, but escapes the shock of catching them in the act. Both scenarios develop differently, though in a “parallel manner”in the movie. She gets pregnant, and has a miscarriage in both scenarios, however in scenario #1 she lives and #2 scenario she dies.

Psychologically, regrets are “counter factual” because cognitively we pursue “what didn’t happen “so it is “counter” to the “fact”.

Is it a futile activity which at best leads to pangs of emotional pain or is there a possibility of redemption and growth?

Let’s start with the assumption that it’s futile activity and collect evidence to prove it wrong just like researchers do using “null hypothesis “. Can we establish it as a constructive emotion? Wait a minute-is it just an emotion or is there a cognitive component. Many philosophers have a consensus on the hybrid nature of this “state of mind”

Opportunity breeds regret. In other words, those who are oppressed or live in a rigidly conventional society would rarely be regretful. They have little use for this activity.

There is some other set of people who are immune from regrets – deeply religious, because they have no other choice but, follow the dictates of “God”. On the other end of spectrum, there is some evidence, that psychopaths remain free of this tormenting emotion as are people with damaged frontal lobes of the brain.

But for the rest of us,it is inevitable- whether futile or constructive.”

It is a value laden activity- we can only regret not having acted in a certain way, if we value that course of action. At times, we are aware of this valency, as we are making decisions- we are really speculating how could we avoid “regrets in future”. Let me explain with an example. Nancy got pregnant- her first pregnancy- out of wedlock at a very inconvenient time in her life when she was still in college with no income and little possibility of support from the “one night stand” who she met in Hawaii and has no way to track him down for child support. Should she abort this unwanted pregnancy or go ahead and have the child? If she aborts her pregnancy-she is putting “value” on her career- thinking she can become pregnant again and if she goes ahead, it with it perhaps valuing “motherhood” – assuming career is secondary or something on the similar lines.

Whatever course of action she chooses, I think most of us would agree that she could have some regrets about the choice not made going forward, but then it also depends on what our values are.

So, we have established that futuristic regrets help us make a choice based on how we prioritize our values.

What’s the payoff for being regretful for some decision already taken? painful as it is.

To define the unique type of pain regret is, let me borrow from Ishiguro’s “remains of the day” and bring in the central character Steven – a butler, very devoted one to both his old master – an English Nobleman who was not that noble after all; and his new master – an American nouveau rich. His whole life was centered on doing a job well, with utmost professionalism, to the exclusion of any “romance at work”. After his new master, sends him out for a little vacation- Steven chances upon an opportunity to meet his old colleague Ms. Kenton and realizes that by keeping romance out of work he also threw an opportunity for a fulfilling life with Ms. Kenton who is rather unhappy but devoted wife, may have had feelings for Steven but were unrequited.

Unlike the heroine Helen in Sliding doors, Steven alas, cannot go back and fix it. When he comes back to the manor, he resolves to learn how to engage in “bantering” which he had been struggling to get a hang of .In some oblique way this resolve was a product of poignantly painful regret mentioned earlier.

Just like Steven, maybe we would factor the expression of regrets into our future decisions if come face to face with choosing one course of action over the other. It could help rearrange our value system.

I may have some “regrets” – pun very much intended, for not bringing more evidence but some of you might agree that the “null hypothesis” that regrets are futile, has been disproven.

Communes, Cults or Chemicals

Homo sapiens just like many other mammals live in social groups. The proliferation of social media filled the vacuum created by weakening of the communal living – maybe? The babble of social media is not unlike the lingo used by the brainwashed cult members. We look down upon communes and cults, even though they fulfill the same need- to foster a sense of belonging at much deeper level, than the transient groups on social media.
Whatever we think is toxic in cults, permeates the social media communes too. Cults have their rituals and cult members use a uniform lingo to communicate their solidarity. At least in cults or communes one relates to what is in the vicinity and unfolding as it is rather than a “staging of the events “as in the social media. We connect with other people “as if they are on the stage – performing” – if one goes by the “sheer number of smiling faces” there should be no sadness in this universe. “
Even though it may be counterintuitive for some, I find it interesting to explore those organizations which are far removed from the idea of cult because “there is no worshipping or religion involved”. “Amway and Market America “were the two business organizations which I saw some of my friends became involved with during my training in Brooklyn, New York in mid 90’s.

This friend of mine, a fellow resident in psychiatry with me – very bright young fella -his spouse was a physician in training as well and had recently immigrated from India to pursue more advanced training in the field of medicine. Somehow, he got involved with Amway. Just like a fresh convert, he would leave no opportunity to promote Amway, even though didn’t make a dime himself. He would go to all the business meetings and conventions sometimes in other cities. He started buying their products- ostensibly to sell, which never materialized . I also noticed a sudden transformation in his demeanor, he appeared at ease and confident and rooted in the new country as if he had found a sense of purpose and meaning in his life. He would talk about the millions his “top earing distributors”-obviously higher on the totem pole, had made, and how he could join the same league. “False hope” but it was hope, nonetheless. I wanted to become comfortable, confident and acculturate to the new country as well. My program director suggested “psychoanalysis”- I jumped right in, looking for confidence and meaningful uplifting, but the only hope it offered to me was, converting “my misery” to “ordinary unhappiness”- would it even qualify as hope?
I had some personal experience with these “sellers of hope”,

when I went to a convention hosted by “Market America”. The founder CEO came on the stage to deliver his inaugural talk – oh boy! he sure was a performer and sold the “dream of becoming a millionaire” so well that by the end of the day I felt rich enough to buy a “Montblanc” fountain pen, because I couldn’t settle for less, when I knew soon enough I would be endorsing those “fantasized checks” I would receive, selling Market America products and “becoming an emerald level distributor”. I would be brutally honest in admitting that by the end of the day I catapulted from “misery” to “happy”. Alas, it didn’t last long as my skepticism kicked in. All said and done, I still want to be fair to these organizations- they sell hope but keep the cost “well hidden”.
Organized religion, Cults, communes, conmen – they all sell “hope” in some form or the other – the price extraction differs in form and steepness.

This Lady I knew a while back – worked in healthcare business. She had,a rather troubled teenage years,because of her mother’s bipolar illness. She did get herself involved in drugs. She didn’t make it very clear to me whether she was still doing drugs when she moved in a “commune” in Carolinas. She completed her college and got herself a good job during her continued stay in this “community- run by her Spiritual Guru”. The cost of staying in the commune was – giving at least one weekend towards the upkeep of the community and buying groceries from the “shop they had onsite”. She was happy, got married and her husband stayed there as well. Somewhere down the lane, they developed some differences, which were obliquely related to the communal living and the husband wanted to move out. The “guru” according to my acquaintance, started to “drive a wedge” in their already rocky relationship and wanted her to let her husband go and herself stay on. I guess this was a wakeup call for her and she decided to leave the commune lock stock and barrel. Adios commune!
After she got out, she was very bitter towards the “guru”, lamenting that she was robbed thousands and thousands of dollars she gave them directly or indirectly. I couldn’t help but observe that she did find some “shelter for her troubled soul during those years” and yes paid them for their services dearly, perhaps.
Many of the hard-core cults attract both charismatic personalities and members who feel alienated from the society. Some of them, can provide an insulated world of “us against them” to shield its more vulnerable members from the harsh reality of the real world, not unlike the protective walls of the mental asylum. The cost besides money its member pays is “selling one’s mind and souls to the good of the cult.” The cult -Branch Davidians led by David Koresh could be a good example though eventually rather than protecting it exposed them to even harsher fate.

Social media with its “groups”” friends” and so on provides a forum wherein “one is never alone” – when troubled can ask for help – start a “go fund me” if in dire straits. Share and find solidarity with the like-minded people and “follow the gurus on twitter”- seek guidance and most of it is free. The cost is very well hidden. One really must be as patient as an archaeologist, to go through the layers and layers of “freebies”,to arrive at the hidden price one pays. At the very minimum, it is one’s time and attention,and worst-case scenario parting with personal information ,for free. The data collected on the “users” is traded like commodity. One could argue – so what – it’s just data and no one individual can “mine cryptocurrency” “from that data”.Well… it’s convoluted and complex- I would suggest watching this movie “the Great Hack” to understand the full scope of this “ chess game” in which we amount to less than mere pawns.
Without getting lost in my own argument, what I am proposing is that “social media communes” also extract a price for the “hope and support” and “fostering a sense of belonging” they offer.
I acknowledge, that it would be very hard, for me to sell the proposition, that even conmen offer hope, I would easily concede though that the price extracted is at times “obscene” and could be at least potentially, more damaging than the help being offered.
The last, but not the least is “ the chemicals” or drugs – give hope to masses but again may cost more than one bargained for.
In the end, I can’t help but state, somewhat dated observation by Carl Marx that “ religion is the opium for masses”.

Boredom in Life

Listening to John Cage’s 4’33”

“An empty mind is Devil’s workshop”- many of us perhaps grew up with this dictum. The emphasis hence to stay busy and “not be bored”. Being bored for many is “being slothful”.

Is that so? If so – let’s examine what is boredom and the causes of boredom?

Leo Tolstoy called it “a desire for desires”. Philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, thought “boredom is the root of all evil-despairing refusal to be oneself”. He might have even said that Gods created human beings out of sheer boredom!

Let’s examine it at more mundane level.

What causes boredom?

Could we say it’s “lack of stimulation”? if we turn it around and examine what happens when there is lack of stimulation say depriving “the urbanite” of their smart phones and” TikTok/ Instagram/ Twitter/ Snapchat and you would know. If you want to be cruel then deprive him of TV, music, coffee, coke -you could see boredom in a “physical form”. Some others resort to drugs, gambling, and other kinds of stimulations to keep boredom at bay. All said and done, there is a limit to which the brain can be stimulated, after which it has to “descend into torpor”. That’s the nature of the beast, so to say. The “crash” cocaine bingers experience, wherein no amount of cocaine gives them pleasure is intriguing, and the answer lies in the neurochemistry. As it happens, the brain has exhausted all its stores of “pleasure elixir” technically known as “dopamine”.

Psychological cause of boredom, is perhaps, a mismatch between the subject’s expectation, and what is available for such stimulation. For example, if you go to a talk or show , for knowledge or entertainment ,and the host or performers don’t come up to your expectations – you would be bored in all probability.

The above examples pertain to “ordinary boredom”

Then there is “existential boredom” which afflicts “chosen few” like the protagonist in Sartre’s novel “nausea”. That kind of boredom is malignant and very hard to deal with. The Zen masters have prescribed a “twisted remedy” for such boredom- “if something bores you in two minutes- do it for four minutes and if that doesn’t work for eight – sixteen and so on and you shall find it ceases to be boring”.

Between these two poles -there are “51 shades of boredom”!

We all know what boredom does to us in causing discomfort- is there any payoff for being bored? Yes, there is but only “if it doesn’t kill you” which reminds me of a song by Kelly Clarkson “what doesn’t kill you, make you stronger”. Surviving boredom may open the gates of “creativity”. Who knows the prehistoric man who invented “the wheel” was simply” bored”?

I was scammed- for real

Land of scam artists

I am guilty of being somewhat “non-self-disclosing” and have a strong urge to “confess” so as to emphasize that “scammers” are always “one up” on us, in spite of our caution.

Historically, I have been pretty skeptical of everything “which is too good to be true”. I have never bought a lottery ticket in my life because to hope against “all odds” pun intended, has not been my strong point. I have suffered because of my skepticism, “I have never won a jackpot”. At times, I do have regrets. Self-disclosure is painful, but I would admit, I have lost some money in the stock market though.

Few years back, visiting my parents in New Delhi India, I was “scammed”. The way it happened was that the domestic help which they couldn’t do without because of their advancing age took off – leaving them high and dry. I was pretty anxious to “put things in order” and earn parental respect of a “prodigal son”

Spoiled by my sojourn in the States, I thought I could “order domestic help online” having been heavily addicted to Amazon. Lo and behold I could find someone online, who was willing to send me a maid before the end of the day.

“It was too good to be true” and I jumped at the opportunity. They wanted me to wire advance payment of few thousand rupees- roughly $100. I promptly wired the money- was disappointed because the maid didn’t arrive by the evening and as a matter of fact never showed up. I tried calling my contact number for the maid service, someone would answer and assure me that they were having some difficulty but nothing to worry about and would happen soon. After few angry exchanges they very conveniently “disconnected the phone number”.

Looking back, I recall having been surprised that they could arrange for the maid that fast, but chose to brush any doubt aside as it was more convenient to trust them against my better judgment.

“I was scammed”

“If it’s too good to be true” … guess what? it probably is, not true.
We live in the age of “cons”. They are all around us. At the very minimum “they steal our attention”- I am talking about the internet and social media. You might have hard time believing this but “we are being fed that information which these scammers- I would call them “soft scammers” want us to feed on. They choose their targets well. Many of you would admit that if you search a particular merchandise, the next time you open your browser you would see the same item being advertised. Some of us also start seeing these items even if you were talking to your spouse about it – without becoming paranoid, I would suggest AI – whether it’s Alexa or Google assistant – is eavesdropping. We may not buy these but “we sold our attention”.
Let’s move on to “no ifs and but’s” kind of cons – like Nigerian prince Con or Ponzi schemes.
What I plan to do is, to explore what do the swindlers look for in a victim.
They do feed on the victim’s fear, greed, guilt, concerns, desires, hopes and so on.
I am going to try explaining this with examples from real life.
This lady in her early fifties- let’s call her Martha, lived alone worked in a grocery store making minimum wages. She was divorced and very lonesome. Started using online dating sites and befriended a handsome, rich guy who had “tracks of land in Texas” but was not able to pay taxes. He wanted to sell this property, but the hitch was he had to pay the taxes. He planned to relocate where this lady- my client, lived. “Too good to be true for her” and sure enough it was not true. She finds this hard way after helping him out with the taxes but never hearing from him again. Became despondent, depressed, and was admitted to a psychiatric unit. With proper treatment she was released to her son as she was seen as vulnerable adult and family support was a requirement for her successful discharge.
Thus far it could be seen as an unfortunate story of fraud but,what is hard to understand is that she succumbed to two more very similar cons. When probed deeper- it became apparent that “her desire for a romantic love relationship made her desperate to seek it at any cost” and the fraudsters are scouting for such victims.
Another story focuses on the concerns and fears about the well-being of the family members. A co-worker told me this as I was writing the blog. His 80yrs old mother gets a call from the detention center informing her that her grandson has been arrested and if she wants him to be released, she will have to pay a fine, during this call she can hear some screams in the background. This grandson had had some legal skirmishes in the past. In her anxiety to get her grandson out, she does what she was asked to do. Normal concerns of a grandmother got amplified by grandson’s legal history and the staging of screams in the background.
A cliché “if you want something for nothing”, you might end up getting “nothing for something” but that’s the story of a scam.

Hope in 2022

We build hope give Hope take Hope wish hope-it’s hope and hope all the way.

Hope for better life

We are taught hope is good – and we hope for things to become better even if everything in our life sucks. What’s the payoff? I guess ability to go on with our life. Question is what’s the price we pay?

Let me tell you a story- 

This hobo is traveling in the train- ticket checker comes and ask him to show his ticket. The guy looks in this pocket and that pocket but skips one pocket in an obvious manner. This doesn’t escape the ticket checker’s keen eyes and he questions him why he won’t look into “that pocket “

The hobo’s response is “I am afraid to find it not being there either”

Well funny it is – but really that is what hope is and not finding it there is akin to hopelessness.

The bottom line we would go to any extent to have hope in our life even if it’s “false hope”

We are willing to live in a deluded world if it offers us hope. It could be in God’s benevolence or the promises of a leader.

Where does Hope takes us?

When we are little, we are powerless, puny, dependent, and we hope one day we would be big, independent and stronger. When we are adults, we hope for the day, when we would be wealthy, powerful and famous. When we are older, we hope we would leave a legacy behind us and when we are close to death we hope for an eternity in heaven.

The problem is “hope” always belongs to “tomorrow” and we can only live in today. Too much “dope”of “hope “and we miss the boat of “today”

Maybe a little Hope could propel us to live on, in the face of the absurdity of life 

It’s a known fact that “hopelessness “goes along with “clinical depression” but psychologists have found enough empirical data that people who are depressed are more realistic whereas normal happy people are little less so.

Reminds me of a two act play by Samuel Beckett in which two characters, engage in a no-nothing kind of ramblings while awaiting a mythical Godot, who never arrives. This waiting game acts as a glue to bind their absurd ramblings.

Just a “sprinkle of hope” in 2022 ,would be good enough, so that we can “wait for Godot” and continue to engage in our shenanigans.

So, I ask for just a sprinkle of hope in 2022-just enough to bind the absurdities of life because a little more would entomb our lives into eternal deadness!