When "picking" a state of being, an attitude, a mindset, conventional wisdom can be detrimental to our well-being.
Unless you are a prisoner in a concentration camp, and what's predictable is that you will not make it out alive, hope is a very bad-for-you state to pick. But even there, unless it gives you actions that keep you alive longer, that make you take care of yourself, hope as a being, hopeful is the right word, will be just a feeling... and you know how it is with feelings: they come and go at their own accord: you can't control feelings. Hope and hopeless are the two sides of the same coin. Being doesn't have a flip side.
But if you are NOT in a concentration camp, hope is a bad state to pick.
When you pick a feeling, you want to look who are the purveyors of that being, of that feeling, and decide from that.
Hope is promoted by religion. Religion is only needed by unhappy people. The more unhappy you are the more you need religion... and there you have it: hope creates unhappiness, or maybe we could say: hope creates MORE unhappiness.
Because what is the state of being underneath hope?
It' is that you have reason to hope. That something better is in your future, that how it is is not good...
Two things about that:
- you are making wrong the present moment
- you are not in the present moment
How is that? Because in the present moment, when you are in the present moment, there is nothing ever wrong. Wrong is a comparison, and in the present moment things are what they are, not what they aren't, not what they should be, not more, better or different than something else. Just simply what they are.
Hope implies comparison. More, better, or different.
So what do you think you DO when you are powerless? Scramble ineffectually, or alternatively do nothing. I can see it among my clients and students all the time. For whatever reason they are taken out of the present moment: (the only place where you have power,) they are in that future, or in a comparison, or in wrong, they experience a lack of power... and thus the mad scrambling...
Hope and optimism go hand in hand.
Optimism has a special moronic cousin: expecting the best of others.
Now, let me warn you: there is a difference between a state of being and between a feeling.
States of being, when your consciousness is high enough, are created by you. You are in full control of your being. Beings don't flip-flop. They are steady, because they are not defined by results or circumstances.
This article talks mainly about what is available on the level of consciousness that humanity is at, human, the level of consciousness of feelings, feelings that come and go, as they wish, regardless of what you want.
One main difference between beingness and feelings, is that you are fully aware when you are in"BEing", and fully unconscious when you are in FEELing.
When you expect the best in others, you use that attitude to ignore everything you see, hear, feel, and keep staying optimistic, and hopeful, in spite of warning signals.
You become optimistic because you can't handle reality. You can't handle that people are people, and they do bad things.
I am reminded of the first adult book written by J.K. Rowling, The Casual Vacancy, that people flat out rejected. Why? Because it showed the ugly in people, and it conflicted with the hope, optimism, positive thinking, and rose colored glasses of the masses.
Take off your rose colored glasses, wake up, smell the coffee, and make your life spectacular. Until you get knocked conscious and awake, you will never be able to take effective actions in the proper consciousness... and you will need, forever, to resort to hope, and optimism, to survive life the way it is.