In the well known Greek myth of “Pandora’s Box,” Pandora, the first woman created by the gods, was given a box by Zeus along with instructions never to open it. Naturally being extremely curious, Pandora unlocked the box and peeked inside. Out of the box flew all of the hardships and evils of the world: envy, sickness, hate, sorrow, pain, and disease. Pandora was horrified, but to her relief, she closed the box just in time to keep hope from fluttering out.
“Pandora’s Box” is often compared to the story of Eve and the forbidden fruit. However, the character of Pandora can also symbolize the subconscious mind. Our subconscious mind is filled with all of the feelings we cannot control. That part of our brain conjures up fears and phobias which sometimes we can’t even explain, but often beneath those strong feelings, is hope.
The word ‘hope’ can mean desiring and expecting a certain thing to happen or come true. Hope can keep you motivated to reach your goal no matter how difficult the task. Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel gives a visual representation of a goal. Even if there is darkness all around you, seeing that light way up ahead makes the poor, present situation easier to deal with and keeps you optimistic for the future. It escapes us from the present world, and sends our minds forward to a better place.
Having hope for yourself conjures up a feeling of motivation and drive, but having hope in someone else becomes more of a feeling of trust or faith. These types of feelings play more hand in hand with fear. Kids as well as adults are often told, “Don’t get your hopes up.” This is incase you end up faced with disappointment after putting your faith or trust into something. For example, religion operates on the feeling of hope even though hope is not a solid, substantial emotion. Therefore, unfortunately, there are countless stories of people leaving their religion after a tragic event where their trust in their religion deteriorates. They put their faith in their god or greater being for things to change for the better, but when things don’t happen as they had wished for, they feel abandoned and let down.
It may seem like a bad idea to put trust in someone or something if it can lead to pain and disappointment. However, never taking that risk means never having the chance to experience the good outcome. The happiness of being able to lean on someone is worth having to become vulnerable. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
We have to be cautious that with hope, we don’t become too unrealistic. Wishful thinking is a state of mind that will always remain unfulfilled. Everybody needs optimism to move them forward and keep them motivated, whereas wishful thinking keeps you in the same position you started in.
For example, if you are a great student and a hard worker, you can set a goal for yourself to be accepted into a top school. However, there is no point in hoping to get into a top school if you are a poor student that does not put in the effort. As kids, we are told by our favorite actors and pop stars that dreams really do come true. This saying is not meant to tell kids to fantasize about what they want to be when they’re older while sitting on their butts. It’s meant to motivate them to keep working towards their goal, because if the hope and drive is there, they will come closer to their dream.