‘Beyond Hope’ by Derrick Jensen

‘Beyond Hope’ by Derrick Jensen

1 MinutesIn Book Reviews, Inspiration

When I was 22, I lived in Utah for six months, interning with the legal team of the time management experts Franklin Covey… I still use one of their day planners, despite trialling many updated versions…

Anyway, I got lured by a boy named Wayne, into the cult of Impact, part of the now seriously criticised and possibly dangerous Lifespring group which claims to help individuals grow emotionally.

However, one of their mantras was ‘there is no hope’. Like a number of their experiential learnings, this has stuck with me, though their other methods could have destroyed me if I had been more vulnerable.

The argument was simple – that hope accomplishes nothing. Period. As a natural optimist, I found this hard to reconcile with the idea of future – possibility and so on – but I kind of got the idea. I stopped saying to people ‘I hope you are well’ but instead now ask if they are well. A subtle linguistic change, maybe, but a big difference in meaning.

Environmental activist Derrick Jensen’s now classic article Beyond Hope describes this far more eloquently than me. ‘We are totally f***ed and life is good’ – despair and hope are both useless, only action is the way forward.

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