Excerpted from Tomorrow's Child: Imagination, Creativity, and the Rebirth of Culture by Rubem A. Alves (New York; Harper & Row, 1972).
What is hope?
It is the presentiment that imagination is more real and reality is less real that it looks. It is the hunch that the overwhelming brutality of facts that oppress and repress us is not the last word. It is the suspicion that reality is more complex than the realists want us to believe. That the frontiers of the possible are not determined by the limits of the actual; and in a miraculous and unexplained way life is opening up creative events which will open the way to freedom and resurrection...
[... — but t]he two, suffering and hope must live from each other.
Suffering without hope produces resentment and despair. [...But, h]ope without suffering creates illusions, naivete, and drunkenness.
[So l]et us plant dates, even though we who plant them will never eat them.
... We must live by the love of what we will never see. That is the secret discipline. It is the refusal to let our creative act be dissolved away by our need for immediate sense experience and it is a struggled commitment to the future of our grandchildren. Such disciplined hope is what has given prophets, revolutionaries and saints, the courage to die for the future they envisaged. They made their own bodies the seed of their highest hope....