The Chase is the Thing

“The sudden disappointment of a hope leaves a scar which the ultimate fulfillment of that hope never entirely removes.” – Thomas Hardy

By Anonymous

Thomas Hardy by Bain News Service, publisher

I’m not sure what Hardy is on about. I suppose he could be trying to say that when people hope for things, they are impatient, and if the hope is not fulfilled quickly, having to wait too long until it is fulfilled, spoils the thing someone may have been waiting for. This would be like hoping to find a McDonald’s loyalty sticker in the first bin one sees. If one doesn’t find that vital sticker until one has rifled through a dozen bins, Hardy thinks that the sticker would seem less worthwhile. But it is still worth a sixth of the price of a cup of McDonald’s delicious coffee (which is similar, if you’ve not had one, to warm dish water).

I disagree with Hardy! It is the chase that is the thing that one enjoys. The looking forward to things. The things themselves almost pale into insignificance compared to the thrill of expectation. Not having a hope fulfilled immediately is a bonus. And the thing one was hoping for? If it’s disappointing, one could hope it would be less so, and the waiting and the expectation would begin again too. They say that the adventure is in the travelling and not necessarily in the arriving somewhere.