The Three Amigos – Truth, Trust and Hope

"Whatever!" she said. "I have given up thinking about the future."

Summer plans were the spark that flared into a conversation. But the sense of resignation, if not defeat, spilled over.

The pandemic threatens to flood our spirits, although other streams contribute to the onslaught of hope. 

We live in a time of endings. 

Times of ending provide the smelting fire for hope. Some dream of returning to normal life, but much of that is fantasy. The most gentle forecasters talk of a new normal.

We don't know which predictions are built upon truth. 

When truth stumbles, trust falls, and hope suffocates.

Hope without truth is fantasy.

Many times my so-called hopes are just delusions. 

I hope one day:

  • That diet food will include fried chicken, hamburgers, and french fries, 
  • That an extra $1500/month will automatically appear in our banking account
  • That my shelf full of diet and exercise books will start to yield results before I have to buy another one
  • That wisdom will come without effort and 
  • Salvation without danger.

But these wishes contain no truth. 

Fantasy often exerts a stronger pull than reality.

I understand the allure. My mind still expects my body to behave like when I was 30, even though I may no longer be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. 

The careful discernment of truth becomes the first task of living with hope.

The language depends upon context and focus.

In management, the first step is a rigorous assessment of resources, challenges, and opportunities.

In retirement, my wife and I make a sober assessment of our finances, take a best guess at future travel opportunities and calculate the "best before" dates for some activities. Realistically, we have to build time into the calendar for health care visits, most of which are unanticipated and unwelcome. And we think about the needs of our children, grandchildren and friends. 

In assessing capacity, the gleaning of truth from fantasy and wishful thinking does not always come easily. Nostalgia often complicates the task. The glory days of reconstructed family memories and the good old days entice me towards daydreaming rather than discernment. We cannot do all that we imagine, even though we can do more than our bodies feel some mornings. 

Truth remains foundational though sometimes elusive.

When viewed through a religious lens, what lies before us, as individuals, organizations, and society, is a spiritual quest, an opportunity to pursue the wholeness of the soul, to drill down to that which we trust and rings of truth. Life is no longer a matter of accepting destiny or simply following inherited patterns.

Truth is not always easy to hear or claim; yet, without it, we live in a world of 'if only' and make-believe and hope shrivel into "whatever."

Photo by Levi Guzman on Unsplash

For your journal or conversation

1. What hopes do you hold that you secretly fear may be fantasy?

2. When hope is under pressure, energy reserves often feel in short supply. What are the signs that you or your organization have the energy or interest to discover/discern the deeper truths from which to move forward with hope?

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