A morgue called hope
Hope goes to die, in flames or withered on the vine of old age. Its torch passed from those who burn brightly to the ears of those in need. Hope. In times of darkness, in times of want, in times of affliction. Hope, cried out, called out, broken on the wrack and ruin of lives cast aside. Bodies for the cause, revolution, that is the cry, yet hope swells all who wish to, need to, hear. In the here and now hope dwells for a post-Covid world, yet what is this hope that we actually see?
Not the cynical hope peddled to win votes or influence your eye away from scandal. For hope sells dreams of brighter days gone past. Stand on the soap box, bring together a coalition, and sooner you end up in the morgue or in chains. Hope is not for the faint of heart, hope require courage. Courage of conviction, courage to believe that the pain of the now will not bleed into the days of future come. Hope speaks to that deep-seated part of us that wants to step into this future, rooted in our desire to move past the painful moment. This is not cynical, this who we are. For tomorrow will always be a brighter day.
Yet, the blood of so many runs for hope. Beaten heads, shattered hearts. Ours is build on the shoulders of bloodied giants, their lives cut shot for the path we tread. This is not the revolution lionised on TV, for that revolution was shot all to pieces the moment it became too much hope for the State to bear. Our revolution was hope turned avarice, of mortgages and suburbs. Of winning a place in the Ivy League for our children, of dreaming that hard work will life you up. You were sold the hope of dreams, whose dreams was beside the point. This snake oil hope lifted few to lofty heights, yet left so many cut adrift plummeting downwards to become bloodied shoulders the next generation stands on.
Is not hope someone else’s dream? Is it not the message we sell to drag us over some imaginary finishing line? We buy things to salve our souls, in the hope that the next gadget or garment or trinket will somehow make things that slightest bit better. We hope. We believe. We consume. Somewhere off in lands on a map literal blood sweat and tears stitch and sow so we can hope. Those bloodied shoulders living monuments to our hopeful futures, the labour hidden from our calculations of college fees and mortgage interest rates. Their fingers and lives broken and bent over just so we can hope for the next big thing that soon enough gets thrown away.
Ours is a morgue called hope, of lives sacrificed too young, too soon. Ours is a hope of alabaster white, of college degrees and upwardly mobile living built on the bodies of minimum wage earners scraping by. Their blood, their sweat, their tears locked out of our hope because we only hope for ourselves. Broken curb stones worn smooth by patient beggars locked out of our hope; we pass on by an throw lunch money in their tin. Their hope is for the next meal, ours is hoping that those few coins will salve our votes at the next election. Our hope is their morgue.
Hope is a wellspring, eternal and part of our very human condition. Our morgue called hope need not be this way. Need not be the bloodied shoulders we stand on. Hope is knowing that our brighter tomorrow must be all our brighter tomorrow, not just yours. Your brighter tomorrow is only a morgue if we ignore all those in need, all those that exist without the security of shelter, food, medicine, and opportunity. Hope should never just be a me thing, it is an us opportunity that requires all of us to lift up our fellow humans, not just ourselves by some fraying bootstraps.
Hope is only a morgue if we shirk our neighbour, if in our pursuit of liberty, happiness, and dignity we do so without lifting up those around us. Bloodied shoulders and broken dreams are only so because our social empathy puts the blame on the dispossessed. Ours is the responsibility to uplift our fellow citizens, see them as people and not as a resource to be spent at the click of an app. Our hope must not become their morgue, for otherwise what is our hope except ashes and dust? Hope may well spring eternal, but it must be for the betterment of us all, lest our next generation too will stand on bloodied and broken shoulders. There is hope, if we welcome in the other and the dispossessed.