Friday, May 15, 2015


My direct supervisor, inspired by her need to be optimistic, just told a rather down-and-out patient that "hope is eternal." I assume she meant for this to inspire the patient. Perhaps it did. But upon hearing my light snicker in the background, my supervisor directed her attention towards me: "Matt, I'm serious."

I replied, "It's just a silly thing to say, is all. You see, if hope is eternal then it will never end, which means that the thing you hope will happen, will never actually happen. This means that 'eternal hope' is useless."

She turned around and went to a meeting. I, on the other hand, got to thinking. This phrase, "hope is eternal," is common in Mormon circles. And like my supervisor, many Mormons only think superficially about the over-the-pulpit drivel many share in faith-inspiring optimism.

If, per chance, a proposed warm and fuzzy saying is only inspiring on the surface (meaning, it inspires only inasmuch as you don't think about it too much), then the over-thinker is labeled a pessimist.

Forgive me if I only find inspiration in things truly inspiring and thought-provoking. Telling me that I am "thinking too much" or "taking it too far" only serves to undermine any superficial meaning which may have been left.

May I propose a counter argument? You think too little. If you decide to withhold "thinking" in order to shield a pet belief or favorite saying from criticism, then perhaps it isn't worth defending. This type of willful ignorance has only ever stood in the way of real progress. Let it go and be done with it.

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