Philosophy

Hopeless but not broken

George Carlin, the late, great comedian, said that his motto had become: “Fuck hope!”

I agree. Hope is overrated. If you stand around waiting for hope, you’ll be standing in that position for a long, long time. Instead, just do what’s right.

Bruce E. Levine has an interesting piece on this, with special reference to his own sense of hopelessness as a psychiatrist after seeing what his profession was doing to its patients, especially kids:

My embarrassment transformed into hopelessness as it became routine to prescribe tranquilizing antipsychotic drugs to ODD kids; to diagnose kids with mental disorders merely for blowing off school while their entire family was falling apart; and to prescribe Ritalin, Vyvanse, Adderall, and other amphetamines to six-year-olds who had become inattentive as their parents were engaged in a nasty divorce.

But hopelessness need not break you:

Achieving hopelessness about my profession had great benefits. It liberated me from wasting my time with authoritarian mental health professionals in efforts at reform; and it energized me to care solely about anti-authoritarians who already had their doubts about my profession and sought validation from someone within it. Embracing my hopelessness about my profession made me whole and revitalized me.

Indeed, hopelessness can be strangely liberating. It removes worry and let’s you get on with life.

(By the way, here is an absolutely beautiful song linked to by Levine: Leah King: High on Adderall.)


Source: Bruce E. Levine. “Hopeless But Not Broken: From George Carlin to Adderall Protest Music.”¬†Counterpunch, May 2, 2018.

Categories: Philosophy