Rage is blind to empathy as despair is void of _____?
^bastards stole my answer
Reason, perhaps. People do a lot of irrational things out of desperation.
Hope was my first thought too, but I think Hope is a tricky concept. Both Rage and Despair are extreme, states, right? We’ve all been mad, or angry, as we’ve all been sad, or gloomy, but to see someone set in a rage is really disturbing because they cannot be calmed by reason, or consoled. A violence has built up in that person and when finally it’s time they bust, they bust hard. The world has completely self-centered and they can see nothing, feel nothing, take in no more guff, or excuses, or apologies; they are a geyser of blunt force and explosive brutality, capable of incredible strength or destruction, protected, even, in a temporary armor of adrenaline.
I knew a kid growing up, XXXXXX HARRIS, who suffered from severe bi-polar swings, and for that or whatever reason, seemed to Rage his entire life, not with justified hatred necessarily, but hard, intensely frightening, naked, rage. A casual disagreement while hanging out in his basement could lead to a later discovery that he unknowingly broke three knuckles firing his fist into the stone wall near the washing machine. In the most extreme case, some routine parent/child questioning showing any trace of skepticism as to the legitimacy of the excuse of his whereabouts on a particular Friday night after curfew in high school ended with XXXXXX berating his mother to the point of tears before breaking his own father’s nose when he tried to intervene .
& when alcohol was introduced his rage was beastly dark, as in Satanic. Insane, though more accurately: out of sanity.
If only he could empathize, even for a moment, with his mother, his father, but Rage is blind to otherness. Rage, in a way, is supremely selfish, and in another way, faultlessly selfish. In one way we witness a person raging. And in another way, the common phrasing is he/she was sent into a rage. by…?
Murdered his wife in a rage does not grant one immunity in a courtroom, but socially there is some slight, SLIGHT, asterisk given by the need to point out that the killing occurred while the person was in a rage.
Curiously, XXXXXX took his own life in a rather calm and non-confrontational manner. Pills, quietly overdosing in his 28th year.
“Rage, Rage Against The Dying Of The Light” —poet Dylan Thomas’ words to his father, attempting to pep talk him through a longer day. Thomas implies that it takes more than mere “Fight” or even “Will” to overcome this final battle; “Rage” is almost a supernatural strength, superhuman, which is what is needed to out-tug the ropes of ‘that good night’ . To set the subject into a rage is possibly, probably, the only thing that may work up the vitality to stave off death.
Rage has it’s positive place in motivation, I have no doubt, but that’s another story.
As inconsolable as one’s rage can be—their inability to see anyone else’s viewpoint during that episode of expulsion—despair can be equally remote. As I said before, despair is not simple sadness or gloominess, but a complete certainty that the future—the very next breath, step, and this current one too—is futile, sterile and unchanging. Finding someone you know in a state of despair is torturous—no magic word to be said to help them. Despairing yourself is awful, beyond awful, an ever-widening detachment, an ever-loosening despondency. Despair.
The dictionary pairs it with a LACK of hope, losing all hope, but wouldn’t that imply having hope would banish despair?
Hope against Hope.
Hope Necklaces, Hope Candles, Daughters named Hope.
I’ve ended most emails since 2003 with the words “Hope You’re Doing Well.” Why?
Why hope? To me, despair seems like the logical conclusion of hope. How many times have you hoped this time would be different, your family will understand you? How many times have you hoped this time will take you to happiness, this girl or boy will notice you, love you back? You hope to become the writer you think you are? We often hope something works out in a way that has nothing to do with actual work or concrete progress, but rather airy, nebulous, expectation that we place our belief in, to which those expectations gain weight, come down to earth, to which they seem real, as in possible and at times, actual, and when the chasm between what is hoped for and what is grasped becomes too wide and never-narrowing, we get swallowed into the isolating prison, Despair.
That’s the mechanism of Hope, by Me. Trademark Me. Year: Now.
In other words, fuck hope, right? From the get go. Giving a person in despair hope is just giving them another chance to wind up in despair. The same cycle. Despair isn’t void of hope, it isn’t a lack of hope, it’s a surplus of hope. Too much hope. Despair is realizing that hope is all around us, hope is all we’ve built our foundation upon, and hope is insufficient to giving us what we want.
So I’m going to throw this out there, feel free to refute (it’s not that profound): True despair is void of LOVE.
Sounds like some straight up hippy bullshit, I know, but if you can recognize what you love, listen to your heart, follow your love, walk step after step, you will escape Despair, not hit the upside of the cycle—like how Hope does it—but truly escape Despair, the despair that is as remote as rage. Keep your ear to the tracks. Love what you love. Write what you write. Do the work with your family. Only the work can take you, and only a love of the work will keep you doing it.
Maybe in another post, we’ll discuss how faulty that claim is with The Cautionary Tale Of The Despairing Child Smothered In Excessive Love. maybe.
Umm, anyway, thanks for sending in answers Yo