Authentic hope is a light burning at the core of our being that sees beyond the simple dichotomy of optimism and pessimism, through the bored emptiness of a cynicism, without clinging to the guarded apprehension of fear.
We are large-souled beings, according to Aristotle, adept at facing the facts of our predicament while feeling despair and up to the task of taking effective action knowing full well the consequences of failure.
Authentic hope is not disengaged wishful thinking, as the battered wife who stays with her abusive spouse hoping his behavior will change. It is also not the exuberant pretensions of those who promise a cure to our addiction to fossil fuels without the pain of withdrawal.
Neither is hope the secular equivalent of a distant heaven used by elites of old to keep us in line.
Authentic hope did not lift Obama to the presidency. That was a manipulated and short-lived evanescence, a fallacious hope that Derrick Jensen argues keeps us enslaved and should be abandoned. Instead he advocates positive action, inspired by love, on behalf of all beings.