January 30, 2024 Editor

Comments: On getting over ourselves

Ken Sehested
30 January 2024

image above: by Ken Sehested

WN: I so appreciate Ken’s musings. You may subscribe here.

I’ve always also appreciated Thomas Merton‘s take on “getting over ourselves,” as described in the following, by clicking on the highlighted:

Christian faith offers the grand privilege of sidestepping one’s grasping Ego in favour of a True Self. This alone yields the only ultimate liberty worth embracing.–WN

And Hope was a kind of Trickster in Greek Tragedy–the only thing that remained after Pandora’s Box was opened. As Wikipedia explains, the entity was. . .

. . . usually translated as Hope, though it could also have the pessimistic meaning of “deceptive expectation”.[5]

Over against this kind of “Hope,” Saint Paul writes in Romans 5:

 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

So instead of Hope being a Greek Tragedy Trickster, it is transformed by Saint Paul into one of the three great Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope and Love–that alone endure, as in I Corinthians 13:

13And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.



My friend Richard sent me strong words of encouragement regarding something I’d written, particularly this line: “”Despair is often a disguised form of narcissism. Get over yourself.” He then recounted a recent conversation, saying “I told a friend the other day: “When I think about 2024, I am not as hopeful as you are. But I wish I were. Does that count?”

It is a pertinent question requiring a thoughtful response. I responded:

Thanks for your words of encouragement. I certainly resonate with the sentiment you spoke to your friend; though I would use the word “optimistic” instead of hopeful. When it comes to public policy, I am as pessimistic as I’ve ever been.

To think that Trump has a shot at a new term is an utter gobsmack. To think that the climate could cross its catastrophic point of no return during my lifetime is terrifying. To think that auto- and plutocracies are on the rise here and around the world makes my heart hurt. To think that Israel feels it’s legitimate to kill tens of thousands of women and children in Gaza to sustain its “security” is barbarous.

In my way of thinking, hope is a deeper current, not seriously affected by surface turbulence.

Please click on: On getting over ourselves

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Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.