On Hope as a Uniquely Human Emotion

CUA psychology professor, Dr. James Brennan gives some additional insight, in the video below, on the subjects of human emotion and this morning’s reading. By the way, he made it while Pope Benedict XVI was still pope, and also we’ve moved back the reading by Saint John Paul II that he mentions, “To Teach Them Love,” to later this summer (here is a link to our schedule). Toward the end of the video, Dr. Brennan mentions Pope Benedict’s emphasis on hope, which involves being able to imagine things being different from the way they are. What are some things that hope enables people to do?

Photo: “Pope Benedict XVI’s Visit to Catholic University in 2008” (#7)”

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jaesen Evangelista says:

    Hope. Hmmm….as strange as this might sound, talking about this actually reminds me of a scene in the first Hunger Games movie. President Snow is talking with some of his advisors and he tells them that he governs by striking fear into people’s hearts. However, Katniss Everdeen is a symbol of hope for the people now, and he says, “Hope always triumphs over fear.”

    This is the most important thing hope can do. It gives people, all people, the courage to overcome their fears no matter how scared they are. They see the end-goal more desirable than the challenge they would struggle. Take immigration, for instance. Immigrants find the end-goal of moving to America and finding better lives much more desirable than never trying to cross the border. They have hope in their new future and so they overcome the fear of crossing or facing any consequences. Hope, along with desire, drives people to move and not only for change but to rise above the ashes.

  2. Mary Ryan says:

    I 100% agree with Jaesen’s comment above. Hope is the cornerstone of life. If hope did not exist, there would be a whole lot less in the world. We, as a people, would probably have accomplished absolutely nothing by now if hope did not exist. The Merriam-Webster definition of hope is, ” to cherish a desire with anticipation : to want something to happen or be true.” If we did not want things to happen, we would not try to make them happen. Having no hopes or desires would lead us to staying completely stagnant in our lives.

    Hope enables us to persevere and to kick fear in the face. As Jaesen mentioned above, with hope, we can see our end-goals and look past the things that may trouble us on the way to achieving these goals. Without hope, there would be no motivation to accomplish our goals and we would succumb to the fears that we battle everyday. When we want something or hope for something to happen, we try our best to make it possible. With God and a little bit of hope and faith, nothing is impossible. Alone and without hope, nothing is possible.

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