In Greek mythology, the story is told of Epimetheus, who leaves his bride Pandora in charge of a box given them by Zeus. Inside this box were all the ills of the world. However, Zeus’s instruction that the box should not be opened under any circumstance is problematic, because another of Pandora’s gifts was that of curiosity. 

One thing leads to another and Pandora opens the box, allowing evil, illnesses and disease to fly out and wreak havoc upon the world. The lid is replaced just in time to stop hope flying out from the box and being lost to the world altogether. Although Pandora’s Box is a myth, like many myths, a serious point is being made here about the value of hope and its benefit to people in whatever circumstance they find themselves in. 

I’m thinking about the millions of people who live in impossible situations, where they encounter persecution, or struggle with long-term physical disability, or are crippled by mental or emotional illness, or live in abject poverty: those for whom the rigours of this life are only manageable because they hold out the hope that beyond the immediacy of this world and their personal circumstances there exists a place where suffering and hardship will be at an end, and which brings meaning and significance to the trials being endured.

We still live in a world of much hardship and suffering often made more bearable to people because they believe that God is aware of their situation and ready to act. If for no other reason than that people are enabled to continue enduring hardship and adverse circumstance because of their belief in God, it seems that the believer’s ‘hope’ is a very good thing – a real blessing within a society in which humanist solutions have not readily provided all the answers to the dysfunctional aspects of life.

Source: www.philosophynow.org

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