The Renewal of Hope

The Renewal of Hope

The Renewal of Hope

The Renewal of Hope

Excerpt

The character Vladimir in Samuel Beckett Waiting for Godot stands as a symbol of the vaguely hopeful man in this uncertain hour of the world's history: "Waiting for Godot to come . . . or for night to fall." Yet in an age of nuclear bombs and ICBM's, of the Beat Generation and the Silent Generation, there is need for a firmer word of hope than Beckett can offer. We admire his courage, and we respect profoundly his sense of responsibility for his fellow man. But we find no hope worthy of the term if we have no alternative but to hover between a formless expectancy and the prospect of oblivion.

Vladimir's hesitant hopefulness may characterize the Western world in our day, but other parts of the world are alive with more vigorous hopes. There men's souls are stirred by the promises of a better world. In underdeveloped nations and in communist lands men and women are willing to make costly sacrifices in order to assure the fulfillment of their hopes. In China, the age-old pattern of family solidarity is giving way to a system of communes that has no place for the family at all. Old structures and venerable customs are vanishing under the pressure of hopes of a transformed way of life.

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