9 Virtues Blog

On the Importance of Hope in the Face of Death

by N. Karl Haden, Ph.D.

08/31/2018

“Death is the condition of your creation, it is a part of you; you are fleeing from your own selves.”

Montaigne

Death is the great equalizer. Rich or poor, educated or uneducated, famous or unknown, the same fate awaits us all. One day, whether tomorrow, in a year, or more than a decade ahead, your life will end. In the face of the inevitable expiration of our lives, is hope realistic? If everything, good and bad, eventually comes to an end, what is there to look forward to? Like the inevitableness of death, our need for hope is a characteristic that we all have in common. Hope looks to the future with joyful expectation in the face of the inevitable. Without hope, we lose meaning in life and we live in despair. Without hope, we miss valuable life experiences. That each life will end is no reason to deny the relationships, contributions, and experiences that make our lives meaningful. Instead, our finitude is even more reason to make the most of our days by appreciating each moment as a gift, full of possibility, full of hope.