In an informal poll of friends, we found that most of them are suffering from a bad case of the blahs. This malaise consists of feelings of inertia, depression, listlessness and despair. Some talk about the war and how it sapped their energy and confidence. Others feel beaten down by the terrible economy, widespread unemployment and disappearing retirement funds. Younger people are anxious about the future and bummed out by all the gloom and doom voiced by their elders. They desperately want some good old-fashioned hope
Scott Russell Sanders, one of our favorite essayists who writes from the heartland of the country in Indiana, points out that the Latin word for hope, sperare, comes from the Indo-European root spei, which means to expand: "To be hopeful is not only to feel expansive, but to count on an ever-flowing bounty; while to feel despair is to feel constrained, to fear that the springs of life are drying up."
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