What Would Pandora Do?

So often during this election cycle I’ve thought about Pandora and her box. A lot of hatred has been voiced and, worse, legitimized by a terrifying number of Trump supporters. No matter who wins at this point, the box has been opened wide: you can’t just put the hate back in, close the lid, and pretend that the past year didn’t happen.

With Pandora on my mind, I thought I should check the “facts” of the story. I had forgotten that it was Pandora’s own curiosity that made her open the locked box sent along with her by Zeus when he gifted her, the first woman, to Epimetheus, brother of the better-known – at least in our day – Prometheus. I’m not sure that curiosity has anything to do with this modern-day version of the story, but boy oh boy, the aftermath is a perfect match. When Pandora lifted the proverbial lid, out flew a lot of bad stuff, not least of which were sickness, envy, and, you guessed it, hate. Seeing what she had done, Pandora, unlike Mr. Trump I might add, quickly closed the lid, but never mind, it was too late anyway.

The most disturbing part of the story, though, at least in today’s context is that Hope then became trapped in the box, never to see the light of day. Why it was in there in the first place scholars have an array of theories, but in the presence of the rest of evils, its absence is, to say the least, disconcerting.

Immigrants, Muslims, racial minorities, LGBT, foreigners, non-Christians, women…It’s time to rewrite the ancient myth: only Hope is going to get us – and more importantly our children – past this one, and I’m just not sure if that’s going to be enough.

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