Hope is a significant aspect of human flourishing. Victor Frankl’s experience demonstrates its significance very clearly (Man’s Search for Meaning). The Apostle Paul includes it as one of three key parts of human life (1 Corinthians 13.13).
Part of Barack Obama’s appeal in 2008 was his appeal to the concept of hope. It resonates deeply with the human spirit, and many voters I’m sure cast their ballots in hope that his presidency would lead to many things hoped for to be seen in our country.
In light of the significance of hope for a person’s sense of meaning, and in light of the hope invested in this presidency, today’s employment numbers are particularly distressing. They indicate a serious undermining of this key aspect of human life. As one person puts it, “When people stop looking for work it’s the opposite of hope.” As someone else put it, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” One wonders what the outcome of increasing hopelessness, or sickness of heart, will be.