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South Africans have discovered the place beyond hope, which is also the place beyond fear. Strange as it may seem, because they are no longer ambushed by hope, they are fearless…When there is no hope, there is no fear, because hope and fear are two sides of the same coin. We may have thought that hope made us fearless, giving us the strength to persevere. But hope is always and forever accompanied by its marriage partner, fear. If we hope that something will happen, we fear that it won’t.

I do know what is available the other side of hope and fear. It is clear-seeing, right work, commitment, energy, strength, perseverance, love.

And yet, there is something to what we call ‘hope’ that I would never abandon. {It is} ‘the essence of being human.’

Hope is not a feeling that comes and goes with external circumstances. Hope is who we are independent of outcomes. Hope is as basic to humans as compassion and intelligence. It is always present, it never leaves us. It is not dependent on success and not afflicted by failure. Thus, it is free from fear. And without fear, we can see clearly. We can see what our work is, we have the strength to persevere, we do what we feel is right work and, as poet T.S. Eliot wrote, ‘the rest is not our business.’

We humans can get through anything as long as we’re together. We are consoled and strengthened by being together. We don’t need specific outcomes. We don’t need hope. We need each other. And as we share our common journey, careful to stay together, we discover that hope has never left us. It is the essence of being human, always present just beyond the horizon of events and difficulties. And so we keep moving forward, free from hope and fear, confident that we have found our right work, developing our skillful means with discipline and delight.

—Margaret J. Wheatley
So Far From Home. Lost and Found in our Brave New World