Posts Tagged hope

Hope – A lady blogger in Nara, Japan, writes about the Tohoku disaster

Cherry blossom loved by Japanese people is going to bloom in April, which will brighten up people’s hearts.

Cherry blossom loved by Japanese people is going to bloom in April, which will brighten up people’s hearts.

An lady blogger from Nara, Japan, blogs in English her personal response to the tragedy in Tohoku. If you feel that her beautiful photos of flowers and peaceful scenes are strangely incongruous, or perhaps even irrelevant to the content of her post, please think again and consider. This is a “stoical” Japanese person’s way of both expressing and dealing with almost overwhelming grief. (The lady is Japanese, and English is not her native language).

 An ancient city Nara with the history in 1300, which is grieved about the unrecorded disaster, watching the victims. The saw-toothed east coastline and the sea with many small islands around were the places where my husband and I occasionally traveled. Many old and young lives were washed away by the tsunami. I have been thinking about victims and my friends in the earthquake-stricken areas for days. This disaster taught us that one persons help is small, but if we join hands, it can be a great power. Like many other prefectures, Nara also offered empty houses to the victims to stay for a while. As a Nara citizen, I am proud of this try…

Aid groups from 134 countries are conducting relief activities in the disastrous areas. An American aid group named Operation Tomodachi, which means operation of friends, is actively helping the sufferers there. Many foods and water are carried by helicopters from “Ronald Regan” in harbor off the east coast, which we are really grateful.

via Green Tomato: Hope.

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Hope is a Theological virtue?

In the chapter on Hope, in Book Three of Mere Christianity, Christian apologist C.S. Lewis wrote, “Hope is one of the Theological virtues.” And that put me off right there.

Don’t get me wrong. I admire C.S. Lewis in many ways, especially his erudition and the conversational style in which he writes (he writes as he speaks, a a skill much praised by such luminaries as Fleisch).

As a Christian apologist, I’m grateful to him for introducing me to several key Christian ideas, and also some which are pertinent even withoutt the Christian theology, such as “Men without Chests” and “Punishment”.

No. I’m sorry, but hope is not  “one of the Theological virtues”. It is much, much more crucial than that. Would you say that food is a “theological virtue”? Or love? Or joy? I don’t think so.

Lewis may have meant well. He may even be technically correct. But to talk of hope in this way, trivialising this virtue (which it undoubtedly is), is almost unforgivable. And this sentence opens the chapter, for crying out loud: he really thought categorizing hope in this way was the single most important thing he could do right at the beginning of the chapter.

Hope: without it, humans curl up and die. There is a story about two Africans in a medical study who were diagnosed as HIV positive, and who promptly took to their beds. Some time later, they were tested again and this time it was negative. Did they stay abed? No! They started to “recover”. Nothing in fact had changed; the test had been defective (as is not infrequently the case, I hear). But now they had hope, whereas before they had none.

“There is no hope.” “What hope is there?” These are famous “last words” that usually precede abandonment of effort and struggle: what’s the point, if there’s no hope? Yet there are those magnificent words uttered by, I think, Aragorn, in the last part of “Lord of the Rings”; when Gimli the dwarf says, “There is no hope”, Aragorn counters, “Then we must do without hope.” A stout heart, indeed.

“Give them legitimate hope” counsels veteran speaker Gary North. The last part of a good speech should do this, he says.   Would it sound the same, do you think, if he said, “Give them a legitimate Theological virtue”? Just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?

Here’s Gary North talking at Mises University, October 2010, about an opportunity for young Austrian economists and  at the same time teaching how to give a good speech.

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