In The Light Brigade, what I consider her most mature work yet, Kameron Hurley gives her protagonist Dietz this monologue about hope’s role in shaping human behavior:
“There’s a huge mental release in knowing there is an end to pain. A human being with hope can continue on far longer than one without. Did you know those who are mildly depressed see the world more accurately? Yet they don’t live as long as optimists. Aren’t as successful. It turns out that being able to perceive actual reality has very little long-term benefit. It’s those who believe in something larger than themselves who thrive. We all seem to need a little bit of delusion to function in the world. That belief can be about anything, too. Could be a god, a corporation, a society, like our various militaries instill. A sense of belonging. Could be national pride. Or the desire to make the world a better place. Or see the world burn. Personal or political. But … something bigger. Something greater.”
– Dietz in Kameron Hurley’s The Light Brigade
We’re six to seven months into the covid-19 pandemic, depending on your definition of the epidemic start date in the western world. I could use some mental release right about now, and I know I’m not alone.
Alas, as far as we know, nothing specific is in the pipe to be released very soon. But there is hope!
The good news is that by all accounts SARS-CoV-2 will respond to a vaccine. The bad news is that we need to wait and be patient, stay home as much as possible; and when we cannot, keep a safe distance, practice good sneezing hygiene, wear masks, and wash our hands.
Stay on target. Stay safe. We will prevail.
Hurley, Kameron. The Light Brigade. New York: Saga Press, 2019, p. 116.
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