Monday, March 17, 2008

Why a "Prisoner of Hope"?

On his last Sunday morning TV program (Breakfast with Frost) the eminent presenter David Frost interviewed among other worthies Sir Desmond Tutu - the former Archbishop of South Africa. If you know your history you will know that Desmond Tutu was able to comment on the scourge of Apartheid in South Africa in a charitable and forgiving nature that was a powerful form of non violent resistance. He possessed a most engaging smile and laugh (in fact at times it seemed nearer to a giggle).

Sir David turned to Sir Desmond and stated " You have always struck me as a supreme optimist". Sir Desmond thought for a couple of seconds smiled and responded."You know that's not right. Throughout my life I have neither expected the best or accepted the worst - I have striven to improve things becasuse I have always been a prisoner of hope - that's what has kept me going".

I like to say to people that that was the moment that Irealised that the Archbishop must also have been a liflelong supporter of both Spurs and the England Cricket Team.

When I reflect on my own response to difficulties - such as poor health or having to suffer well meaning but confused fools involved in the provision of public services - I think I have survived by being a Prisoner of Hope. I still get attracted to new atempts to achieve meaningful public engagement only to be disappointed yet again. I suspect that despite my intentions to hold back next time I will get drawn in again in the future only to be frustrated.... until the next time of course!

1 comment:

Stray said...

Hi PoH,

Good to find you here :)

My old psychotherapist was herself exactly as you describe, A Prisoner of Hope - being a Spurs fan and a follower of the England football team, as well as a social worker and feminist and all round activist ...

A couple of years ago I congratulated her on Spurs having reached the knock out stages of the UEFA cup and she tsked and sighed (being Jewish she was very good at these kinds of things) and told me that that was the problem with being a bloody spurs fan ... they can't just be consistently crap -they're constantly offering you hope that they might actually win something this season, only to drop you from a greater height later.

I'm wondering what she makes of winning the Carling Cup? Her argument was that in some ways it was better to be a Wigan fan and just know that you're never going to win anything. Of course we probably could have said the same of Pompey in days gone by ...

As you say, being a PoH is exactly what leads those of us who ought to know better by now to get embroiled in frustrating situations again and again.

I've tried to be a good cynic - I really really have ... I just don't have it in me :)

Welcome to the blogosphere,